Iowa City Youth Basketball Coach Pleads Guilty to Exploiting At Least 400 Boys
On October 18, a well-known youth basketball coach in Iowa City pleaded guilty to sexually exploiting over 400 boys over the course of several years. Greg Stephen was the coach and co-founder of the Iowa Barnstormers, a popular Amateur Athletic Union boys basketball team. He pleaded guilty to seven charges, including sexually exploiting minors and possessing and transporting child pornography.
In court, Stephen admitted to taking videos of himself fondling young players while they were asleep, making videos of them showering, and posing as girls on social media to trick them into sending him pornographic videos. Stephen also admitted that he had a hard drive with folders for at least 400 different boys – each folder had explicit photos and videos of the boys in his basketball program. He also admitted to hiding cameras in smoke detectors and bath towel hooks in his home.
Stephen was arrested in March and filed his plea agreement on Thursday, October 18. If convicted, he will face a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 120 years in prison.
Legal Recourse For Victims of Sexual Abuse by Youth Sports Coaches
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com represents survivors of child sexual abuse, helping them find justice and support. Here is his perspective on the legal options available to survivors who have been abused by youth sports coaches:
Involvement in youth sports has numerous benefits for kids, such as cultivating skills like leadership and teamwork. But tragically, a small minority of youth sports coaches, doctors, and other employees and volunteers are sexual predators who use their positions of trust as a means to sexually abuse innocent children. This problem made nationwide news with the Larry Nassar scandal, and others have followed as well. When children are sexually abused in youth sports leagues, we must make sure that the victims have the support they need, that the perpetrator is prosecuted, and that the organization is held accountable if their negligence enabled the abuse to occur.
Youth sports leagues have a legal obligation to keep their players safe, and part of this obligation is protecting against sexual predators. In some cases, negligence enables sexual abuse to continue – such as when reports of sexual misconduct are not taken seriously or are not reported to the authorities. When negligence is involved, the victims and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit against the organization.
If you or your child has been sexually abused in a youth sports league, you can learn more about your family’s legal options by speaking to an experienced sexual abuse survivors lawyer