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Colorado soccer club employee arrested on 17 counts of sexual exploitation of children

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Posted at 2:56 PM, Aug 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-15 11:35:43-04

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — An employee and assistant coach at a Colorado soccer club has been arrested on 17 counts of of sexual exploitation of children.

The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office said its investigators with the Internet Crimes Against Children unit received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about children pornography stemming from an IP address in the county. During an investigation, authorities found files were being uploaded that contained alleged child pornography involving victims ranging from toddlers to teens, the sheriff's office said.

The Internet Crimes Against Children unit identified the suspect as Howard "Bud" Harper, 63.

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Harper was employed by the Real Colorado soccer club at the time of his arrest, but was suspended immediately after, according to the club. He served as an administrative coordinator and occasionally assisted coaches on the field, the club said in a statement.

According to Real Colorado's website, the club includes almost 4,000 families and more than 450 soccer teams in Highlands Ranch, Parker, and Castle Rock.

In a statement, Real Colorado said: "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."

Harper was taken into custody on 17 counts of sexual exploitation of children, which is a Class 5 felony, the sheriff's office said.

Howard "Bud" Harper

Anybody with information on this case is asked to call the sheriff's office tip line at 720-874-8477.