Roaring Fork soccer club says accused sex offender wasn’t coach

Post Independent crime news graphic

Editor’s note: It is the Post Independent’s policy to not name those accused of sex crimes unless they are a person of public trust such as a teacher, counselor, pastor or other similar positions. The person in this case is named because they held a position of public trust.

The Roaring Fork United Soccer Club released a statement on Tuesday evening, saying Cesar Herrera Romero, arrested two weeks ago for sexual assault charges, was not a coach for the club.

“During the Fall of the 2022 season, Cesar Herrera Romero expressed interest in coaching for RF United on his family member’s team, but did not complete the requirements needed to assume the role. Cesar was not and is not a coach with RF United,” Roaring Fork United Executive Director Kevin Jardine says in the statement. “RF United does not believe that Cesar assisted the Team without RF United’s approval.”

Carbondale police, however, stated Tuesday that Romero’s proximity and access to club participants was discovered during the course of the investigation.

Public Information Officer Anna Ramirez told the Post Independent that Officer Paul Lazo was told by a parent affiliated with RF United that, regardless of whether Romero was an official coach or not, “he was always around” and “there helping” because he also had a family member on a RF United team. 

The CPD, however, does not have official documentation of Romero being affiliated with RF United as a coach.

“Whether it was formally or not,” Ramirez said of Romero, “he still had access to the juvenile players.”

Following Romero’s arrest, the Carbondale Police Department issued a news release stating that Romero was an assistant coach for United when juveniles disclosed they were sexually assaulted by him.

In the statement from Roaring Fork United, the process for becoming a coach with the program is explained in detail.

“We take player safety extremely seriously at RF United and require our team coaches and assistant coaches to be compliant with yearly background checks, SafeSport training, and CDC Head’s Up concussion training as mandated by the Colorado Soccer Association and US Soccer,” Jardine said in the statement.

He further went on to add that neither Carbondale police nor the Post Independent contacted his organization before publication but that Roaring Fork United supports CPD’s investigation and encourages anyone with information to contact the police at 970-625-8095.

According to last week’s news release, on Feb. 9, 2023, the CPD was made aware by Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office of juveniles disclosing sexual assault by Romero. Upon further investigation officers found multiple incidents occurred in municipalities between Aspen and Glenwood Springs.

Romero, 20, was arrested June 7 on an arrest warrant for two counts of sexual assault on a child — pattern of abuse, as well as one count of sexual assault on a child. 

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