ROBERTSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A registered sex offender was arrested Tuesday after authorities said they learned he was officiating high schools girls’ softball games.
According to the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry, Herman Brown is considered a violent offender for raping someone while on active duty with the U.S. Military overseas in June 2000.
Brown is prohibited from entering school property as well as obtaining employment within 1,000 feet of a school.
An investigation revealed Brown had allegedly been umpiring games at schools as an official with the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA).
He now faces one count of violation of the sex offender registry.
TSSAA told News 2 Brown registered to ump football, basketball, and softball beginning in June 2015. The association said Brown lied on his application and said he had never been convicted of a felony when he had.
TSSAA is the organization responsible for screening high school referees. Referee candidates didn’t need a background check until November 12, 2015.
The policy changed after it was discovered a referee who said he was intentionally hit by a Glencliff High School football player didn’t disclose he had been charged with statutory rape.
Brown applied to be a referee four months before the background check policy for new candidates went into effect.
The TSSAA says it hasn’t checked the more than 3,000 officials already in the system, officials who only had to give their word on an application form like Brown did.
There are no plans to retroactively do background checks on registered officials. However, many of those officials will receive backgrounds checks when they re-register in June.
The TSSAA says while Brown was working at Jo Byrns High School in Roberston County, someone recognized him and turned him in.
The sheriff’s office said in a press release the investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending as other violations are verified.
Investigators are reportedly speaking with neighboring jurisdictions regarding allegations Brown also officiated games outside of Robertson County.