Former Putnam County minister pleads guilty to sex-related charges
Posted By Kim Swindell Wood | June 2, 2020 8:47 am
Phillip Carlen Loftis entered a plea of guilty, in Putnam County Criminal Court, on June 1, 2020, to solicitation of sexual exploitation of a minor (a Class E felony) and attempted aggravated statutory rape (also a Class E felony.)
According to a press release issued by District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway, Loftis will be placed on the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry for a minimum of 10 years.
In September 2019, investigators with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the District Attorney General’s Office, with the assistance of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, began to investigate allegations about Loftis, who was then 53 years old. At that time, according to Dunaway, Loftis was a resident of the Silver Point area of Putnam County and was a minister at a church in Putnam County.
Loftis reportedly used an online “chat” program to solicit a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl to engage in sexual acts. Using the program, he also sent photos of his private body parts to the “girl.” According to Dunaway, Loftis did not know at the time that he was actually communicating with undercover law enforcement agents.
The public is asked to contact the District Attorney’s Office or your local law enforcement agency if you aware of any other potential victims.
“The internet and social media are tools of the trade for predators to groom and solicit children to be victims,” said Dunaway. “Parents, if you are not monitoring your children’s internet activity, you are making a grave mistake.”