Former Iowa AAU Coach Sentenced To Life In Prison
A U.S. District Judge sentenced former Iowa Barnstormers coach Greg Stephen to 180 years in federal prison, the maximum penalty he faced on sexual exploitation and pornography charges. Judge C.J. Williams said that Stephen abused his position of trust to prey upon boys who saw him as a mentor and a gateway to college basketball. Williams add that the crimes were "horrendous".
Greg Stephon, 43, was a co-director and coach of an Adidas sponsored AAU boy's basketball team that competed nationally and sent many players to colleges on scholarships, including Iowa, Northern Iowa and Wisconsin.
The sentence is one of Iowa's largest and most stunning sexual abuse prosecutions involving youth sports.
Stephen collected thousands of sexual videos of his players and friends. In some cases, Stephen pretended to be a teenage girl online to entice the players to provide videos and photos of themselves masturbating.
Stephen also placed recording devices in bathrooms in hotels and his home to photograph and record the players as they disrobed and as they slept. Stephen also touched boys on road trips to tournaments and professional basketball games on at least 15 different occasions.
Stephen's scheme unraveled after his former brother-in-law, Vaughn Ellison, discovered a recording device while remodeling Stephen's home in February of 2018. Ellison gave the device to police after seeing that it contained several videos of boys showering in hotels in Lombard, Ill., and Ankeny, Iowa. Investigators obtained warrants to search Stephen's homes, where they found the hard drive and other devices.
Stephen is expected to appeal his conviction and sentence. His lawyers say they will argue that the seizure of the recording device by his former brother-in-law violated his privacy rights.