Green Hope coach faces charges of ‘sexual exploitation of a minor’

July 15, 2013 

— Robert Jules “Bobby” Peterson, coach of the national champion girls soccer team at Green Hope High School, was arrested by Cary police early Saturday on charges that he possessed material showing young girls in sexual poses, according to Wake County arrest reports.

Peterson, 43, of 1113 Tarbert Court in Cary, faces six counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, which state law says is a case in which someone, “knowing the character or content of the material, … possesses material that contains a visual representation of a minor engaging in sexual activity.” Third-degree exploitation is a Class H felony, the second-lowest in the state’s system.

Detective Kevin West, a member of Cary’s cybercrimes unit, said in arrest warrants that Peterson had six computer images on June 4 and 5 showing unknown girls whose ages West estimated to be as young as 3 and as old as 11, with most estimated to be 5 to 8 years old.

Capt. Don Hamilton, head of Cary detectives, said Monday that the investigation was continuing and could lead to other charges.

“We’ve got a lot of digging to do” on seized computers, Hamilton said.

Cybercrime investigations can be “slow at times, tedious,” Hamilton said, noting that police recently filed charges based on evidence derived from computers seized in late 2011.

Arrest records show that Peterson was arrested at midnight at his home and list his occupation as “teacher” in the Wake County Public School System. A person who answered the phone at Peterson’s home Sunday night said he had no comment.

Peterson was brought before magistrates at the Wake County Detention Center about 2:20 a.m. Saturday, warrants show.

Online records indicate Peterson joined the Wake school system in August 2001. He has been head coach of the girls team since March 2004, when he moved up from coaching the junior varsity program. He has also coached for the Capital Area Soccer League.

This spring, the team Peterson coached won the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A girls soccer championship game, and was named national champion by EliteSoccerReport.com. His teams won 53 games and lost one during the past two years.

-- Staff Writers Ron Gallagher and J. Mike Blake

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