Public Safety

Detention hearing reset for former Barnstormers AAU coach charged with child porn

Former Iowa Barnstormers coach Greg Stephen. (Photo from Vinelink)
Former Iowa Barnstormers coach Greg Stephen. (Photo from Vinelink)

CEDAR RAPIDS — A federal judge reset a detention hearing Thursday for a former Iowa Barnstormers coach, who is charged with secretly recording three naked teen players.

Greg Stephen, 42, was arrested Tuesday. Police were initially tipped off when after a contractor who was working in Stephen’s Monticello home about a month ago discovered a recording device in the former youth basketball coach’s bathroom and became suspicious.  

Stephen was charged by information Tuesday with one count of knowingly transporting child pornography, and a judge ordered that he would remain in jail pending a detention hearing set for today.

His lawyer asked that the hearing be delayed so Luis Rosell, a forensic psychologist in Mt. Pleasant, could testify. The hearing will determine if Stephen will be released pending trial.

Rosell, a former sex offender treatment director for Iowa Department of Corrections and now in private practice, specializes in treatment of sex offenders and those charged with child pornography. He frequently conducts evaluations for state and federal court proceedings, according to his resume.   

U.S. Chief Magistrate CJ Williams reset the detention hearing for 1 p.m. next Wednesday.   

The Barnstormers, an amateur athletic union organization, severed ties with Stephen the day authorities searched his house. Organizers since have met with parents and players and agreed to move forward.

According to court records, Stephen, admitted he made the videos but said he did so for a non-sexual reason. He told investigators wanted to look at the “development of the kids how they were growing and developing,” according to the 17-page criminal complaint affidavit filed by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.   

Stephen told DCI Special Agent Ryan Kedley that he might have been “a little bit” aroused when viewing the videos, but “in the same way you would be aroused when you view anyone naked,” according to the complaint.  

The former coach denied having any sexual relationship with past for current teen players.

The investigation began Feb. 18 when the contractor, identified in documents as “V.E.” contacted Monticello police.

The tipster told police, while working at Stephen’s house, he found a USB charger equipped with a video recorder in the bathroom. Authorities said he took the device home to inspect the stored files.

V.E. said the digital files showed what appeared to be teenage boys in a hotel bathroom, disrobing and going in and out of the shower, the complaint states. The device was turned over to the Iowa DCI on Feb. 21 and later search warrants were obtained on Stephen’s home in Monticello and cabin in Delhi, as well as his vehicles.

Stephen, general manager of Stephen Moters, also told investigators the videos were made in hotel room in Illinois Jan. 26-27 when he and boys went to a Chicago Bulls game. None of the boys, ages 12, 13, and 14, were aware he was recording them

A current Barnstormers player told DCI that Stephen was sexually touching himself while sharing a bed with the player during a basketball trip to Las Vegas in 2016.

Prosecutors will convene a grand jury to indict Stephen for the felony, which has a mandatory five year and up to 20 years in prison upon a conviction.

l Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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