| Crime |

Stephen Amador, referee: Did he "accidentally" brush female players' breasts, cup butts?

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Unfortunately, we hear all too commonly about middle school or high school coaches accused of sex crimes in these parts. But we can't remember another allegation of a similar offense against a local referee before the arrest this week of Stephen Amador, 52, on suspicion of unlawful sexual contact, times nine.

Even weirder are reports that Amador is believed to have touched the breasts and butts of young players during games, with crowds filled with parents looking on.

Here's Amador's booking photo:

Over the years, Amador has called many games under the banner of the Colorado High School Athletic Association. However, the Lakewood Police Department emphasizes that he is not a CHSAA employee. Rather, he's an independent contractor and a registered official who's certified to work association-sanctioned games.

According to CBS4, he's been doing so for the past eight years in addition to his day job, as the Metropolitan State University of Denver Foundation board's accountant.

This schedule was disrupted by his bust yesterday on nine separate charges of unlawful sexual contact, allegedly involving four underage victims at assorted Lakewood schools beginning in December of last year. They told detectives that Amador had inappropriately touched them.

Moreover, they said these actions took place in the middle of games he was refereeing.

What happened? Despite the ages of the victims involved, CBS4 managed to obtain an arrest warrant that quotes one player as saying that when Amador handed her the ball to toss in-bounds, he "brushed the underside of her breasts."

She doesn't believe this was accidental -- because it happened twice. And a second player told a very similar story.

Other players referenced a different part of the anatomy in regard to Amador. The warrant uses phrases like "touched her butt," "grab my right butt cheek" and "cupping my butt."

Apparently, the game's attendees didn't notice anything untoward, at least initially. But because even most high school games are recorded on video, some of these actions may have been caught on camera.

Thus far, Amador has not been formally charged by the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office. It remains to be seen, then, if he'll be sent to the bench for illegal hand checks.

Folks with additional information about this case are encouraged to phone Detective Anthony Gherardini at 303-987-7225. Here's the CBS4 report.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Richard Johnson, ex-Highlands Ranch teacher and coach: Thirty child sex assault counts."

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