Prosecutors seek 180 years against former Iowa youth coach
By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
According to the Associated Press, the prosecutors in Iowa City, Iowa is asking a judge to sentence Greg Stephen to the rest of his life in prison. The 43-year-old former youth basketball coach has reportedly exploited more than 400 boys in a decade.
The prosecutors want to hit Stephen with 180-years behind bars, the maximum sentence allowed. During sentencing on Thursday, they said ‘the sentence would reflect the harm he caused his victims and the community and the danger he poses to the public.’
He was one of the founding members of the Iowa Barnstormers, a travel team for the top youth players. The team is sponsored by Adidas.
U.S. Attorney Marc Krickbaum’s office claimed that he started the program to “[give himself] a steady, replenishing stream of victims”, who wanted to play for him.
“The families of these victims sought out Defendant, paid for his expertise and connections, and entrusted him with the safety and futures of their sons,” prosecutors wrote in the filing, adding that Stephen abused the families’ trust to “access, manipulate and groom these victims so he could sexually exploit them.”
Last year, Stephen plead guilty to multiple counts of child sexual exploitation and pornography charges. He will have a sentencing on May 2 at the Cedar Rapids federal courthouse.
He admitted that he secretly recorded players showering during trips. And, that wasn’t all, as he also admitted to secretly recording the players in the bathrooms at his own homes.
In addition, the sick Stephen admitted to luring boys to send him sexually explicit images of themselves when he was posing as a girl on social media. He also admitted to fondling some of the players while they were sleeping.
Investigators found 440 folders with different boys names on electronic devices. Each contained a sexually explicit photo or video of the boys genitals.
The news rocked the Iowa basketball community. Several of his former players went on to receive Division I offers.
He has been in jail following his March 2018 arrest. His former brother-in-law turned the former coach into the authorities after finding a hidden recording device in his home.
The device had video of the boys showering in hotel bathrooms when the team went on basketball trips.
Stephen’s defense wants U.S. District Judge C.J. Williams to sentence their client to just 20-years in prison. They also claim that ‘anything longer would be overly harsh.’
His defense team allege that he did not make money from the videos. In addition, they allege that he did not distribute the photos and videos.
They allege that the victims did not know what he was doing. His defense team also alleges he is unlikely to reoffend because ‘[he has] no personality disorders apart from voyeurism.’
The prosecutors said that the evidence shows that he is a “hands-on” child molester. According to the AP story, he was reportedly first accused of improper touching in 1999.
He claimed that he only touched the genitalia of 13 of the victims. He said this happened when they slept.
“This case has shattered the worlds of many of Defendant’s victims,” prosecutors wrote.