AWOL student from Naval Academy arrested in Boulder on sexual exploitation charges

BOULDER, Colo. - Police say a Boulder County man who is AWOL from the Naval Academy is accused of portraying himself online as a young female to get kids to send him pornographic pictures.

Police arrested Bret Butler, 21, on two felony child porn charges --  sexual exploitation of a child/distribution and sexual exploitation of a child/possession of materials.

He was arrested at his home in Boulder County on Thursday.

Investigators said they started investigating Butler in February after a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, accusing Butler of possessing pornographic images of children. 

Detectives said they found Butler asking children online for sexually explicit photos and once he received them, he would share those images online with other users.

Investigators said they found more than 20 sexually graphic images of children on Butler's computer and cell phone. One of the computers had been issued to Butler by the United States Naval Academy, where he had been a student for several years.

He is current AWOL (absent without leave), according to Boulder police.

The Naval Academy has been notified of Butler's arrest.

He is being held at the Boulder County Jail on a $200,000 bond.

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