Tipped to what authorities say appear to be hundreds of surreptitious videos of “disrobed” boys, the state Division of Criminal
Investigation said Friday it was probing the coach of a youth basketball program that includes prominent Eastern Iowa players.
Officials, acting Thursday on a warrant, searched the residences of Greg Stephen in Monticello and Delhi.
Agents were investigating whether Stephen, a co-founder of the Iowa Barnstormers of the Amateur Athletic Union, made explicit recordings of young players without their knowledge.
The AAU program he coached includes most of the top high school basketball players in Iowa, including University of Iowa recruits Patrick McCaffery and Joe Wieskamp. Late Friday, McCaffery wrote on Twitter: “sick to my stomach.”
sick to my stomach
— Patrick McCaffery (@patrickmccaff22) February 24, 2018
Also on Twitter, the Iowa Barnstormers announced that “effective immediately Greg Stephen is no longer a part of our Barnstormers Basketball organization.”
Effective immediately Greg Stephen is no longer a part of our Barnstormers Basketball organization. If you have questions or concerns please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
— Iowa Barnstormers (@IA_Barnstormers) February 23, 2018
A later tweet said the organization was “shocked and devastated by this news” and encouraged current and former players who may have information of interest to law enforcement to contact the Iowa DCI.
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We are all shocked and devastated by this news. All current and former players who experienced anything should contact the phone number within the DCI press release below to make a report.https://t.co/beMcm99sSw
— Iowa Barnstormers (@IA_Barnstormers) February 24, 2018
Authorities did not announce any arrests in the investigation and efforts to reach Stephen were unsuccessful.
His father, Roger Stephen, told the Associated Press that the allegations were “fake news.”
“There’s nothing to hide. It isn’t the way it looks,” he told the AP. “He’s a great guy and there’s no reason for all this happen.”
According to court records, the investigation unfolded quickly after authorities were tipped off by what appears to be a contractor at Stephen’s Monticello home.
In an affidavit to obtain a search warrant, DCI agent Ryan Kedley wrote that a tipster contacted Monticello police Deputy Chief Britt Smith last Sunday to say he could have evidence of a “criminal act.”
The tipster, whose name was redacted from the affidavit, said he was performing contractor services in the house Feb. 15 when he came across a device in a bathroom that appeared to have “video recording capabilities.” Curious, the man took the device and later inspected it before calling the police.
According to the affidavit, the device contained footage of boys in what appeared to be a hotel shower.
“It should be noted that Stephen is the co-founder and active with the Iowa Barnstormers Youth Basketball Organization which travels throughout the United States,” the search warrant affidavit said.
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Authorities said they later found “in excess” of 100 video files on the device. The clips were of “non-adult male individuals” who were naked in what may have been hotel bathrooms, the court record showed.
The affidavit noted the boys in the videos “did not appear to be aware” they were being recorded.
A log shows that authorities seized laptops, smartphones, storage devices, security cameras from throughout the Monticello home and a backpack containing “two covert cameras.”
The Iowa DCI asked that members of the public who may have information pertaining to the investigation call the agency (563) 284-9506.
Researcher John McGlothlen of The Gazette contributed to this report.