Ex-Loudon color guard instructor now in custody

Damon Lawrence roanecounty.com

Former Loudon High School color guard instructor Zachary Tapp turned himself in at the Roane County Jail on Dec. 26.

Criminal Court Court Judge Jeff Wicks ordered Tapp to report to custody by that date to start serving a one-year sentence for his statutory rape convictions.

It was a Loudon County case, but Tapp’s attorney, Scott McCluen, asked Wicks if Tapp could serve his time at the Roane County Jail. Wicks said he was OK with that, and Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton didn’t object to having Tapp housed here.

Tapp met his two victims when he was serving as their color guard instructor at Loudon High School. He pleaded guilty to four counts of statutory rape last June. Wicks later gave him a four-year sentence – one year of confinement followed by three years probation. Tapp, 24, will also have to register as a sex offender.

Stockton said Tapp is being kept away from other inmates for safety reasons.

“We have him isolated in a cell by himself because he’s a law enforcement officer’s kid and the nature of that crime,” Stockton said. “Those two combinations you can’t put him out in general population.”

Tapp was facing time in prison for his crimes. His father, former Harriman police officer Baron Tapp, testified at sentencing that he feared for his son’s life in prison due to the number of people he’s sent there over the years.