TSSAA Referee Arrested on Child Porn Charges

By: Allison Hunt
By: Allison Hunt

Knoxville (WVLT) - We have new details about a man who works as a high school official arrested Thursday on child pornography charges.

According to the warrant, 53-year-old David Aaron Becker told police he was looking at child pornography just before federal agents arrived at his home to question him. Agents say he also admitted to other crimes over the past five years including the sexual assault of three children.

"Mr. Becker admitted to assaulting at least one child and recording the event on a webcam and them transmitting those images on the Internet," FBI supervisory special agent Beth O'Brien said.

So far, Becker only faces charges in connection with the pornographic images, but he does have a prior conviction. The real question now is how did he become an official for high school sports without someone catching it?

Volunteer TV's Allison Hunt has some answers.

It's simple. The TSSAA doesn't do background checks and because he wasn't required to register as a sex offender in Tennessee, his past wasn't known.

When 53-year-old David Aaron Becker registered as a volleyball and baseball official with the TSSAA in 2001, he was not given a background check. The reason: TSSAA does not perform a background check on it's officials.

"Ours are minimum standard that start the process. We have a question that states have you been convicted of a felon, and if that's answered yes we do not register officials," ex-TSSAA director Ronnie Carter said.

The TSSAA says Becker didn't check that yes box, even though according to court documents, he was convicted of sexual assault involving three 11-year-old boys in Colorado.

The TSSAA now says they're looking into the way in which officials are registered.

"Obviously this concerns us and we will look again at our process and we do need to do something other than what we are doing," Carter said.

Bearden High School Athletic Director, Lynn Hill says they have never had any problems, and officials are never left alone with athletes.

"Many of them arrive moments before an event and leave just right after the event or as soon as event is over," Hill said.

He says this case brings the situation to light and wants to put a stop to it.

"Have a meeting to see if there's other steps that we need to be doing to make sure this does not occur on our campus or a problem on our campus." Hill said.

The TSSAA says this situation did not spark talks about looking into their registering process. They have been looking into it for at least the 3 years. Executive Director Ronnie Carter says this situation will continue those discussions.


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