Timon Berry, a regular referee in the National Women’s Soccer League, faces child pornography charges, according to Seattle CBS affiliate KIRO 7.
In a statement to The Equalizer early Saturday, Professional Referee Organization (PRO) said Berry is “suspended from all referee program activities by U.S. Soccer, which also means he is suspended from all assignments administered by PRO,” who provides and assigns referees for the women’s professional league.
FBI agents reportedly arrived at the 28-year-old’s Bellingham, Wash., home in January after an investigation which began in 2012. According to KIRO 7 reporter Deborah Horne, the FBI found “more than 1,300 emails about pornography on his computer,” including “sexually explicit images of children. Berry reportedly posed online “as a 15-year-old interested in dating other girls.”
According to court documents obtained by KIRO 7, Berry told FBI agents he “liked pornography … especially … role-play scenarios.” The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports “investigators found several photos and at least one video showing the rape of preteen girls.”
Berry took part in 10 NWSL matches in 2014, serving as head official in seven of them, including Seattle Reign FC’s 2-1 semifinal win over the Washington Spirit on August 24. He also referees at lower youth and college levels.
Berry was arrested on Monday and his arraignment is set for Dec. 1.
[CLARIFICATION: This article initially featured a photograph more widely cropped and featuring a second referee. Timon Berry, the accused referee, was identified, but the presence of a second referee apparently caused some confusion. The second referee previously visible in the old photograph is in no way involved in the aforementioned allegations. We apologize for any confusion.]
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