ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — A youth soccer coordinator in Arapahoe County was arrested and accused of sexually exploiting children.
According to the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit, Howard “Bud” Harper, 63, is an age coordinator for the Real Soccer Club and a former coach. Real Soccer Club said that in his current role, he assists other coaches with on-field instruction.
The club said he was suspended Wednesday afternoon immediately after they learned of the allegations. Parents were also notified of Harper’s arrest in a Wednesday afternoon email.
Investigators found child pornography was being traded from an IP address in Arapahoe County. From there, the investigators discovered those files contained alleged child pornography and were then being uploaded.
The files included victims ranging in age from toddlers to teens, according to the crime unit.
According to the arrest affidavit, Harper used the social media app Kik to upload 17 videos and photos that contained child sexual abuse material. Kik received a notification that child pornography was uploaded to their app and immediately notified the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Real Soccer Club commented on the investigation:
“Real Colorado is working with the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office to support their investigation. Mr. Harper’s arrest was not related to his work with Real Colorado and did not involve any players in our program,” the program said.
Harper was booked into the Arapahoe County Jail on 17 counts of sexual exploitation of children, which is a class 5 felony.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the sheriff’s tip line at 720-874-8477.