A prominent Iowa youth basketball coach was arrested on a federal child pornography charge on Tuesday after he allegedly confessed to secretly recording three of his players, ages 12-14, disrobing in a hotel bathroom.
The FBI took coach Greg Stephen into custody after a federal judge signed a warrant charging him with knowingly transporting child pornography, PEOPLE confirms. The charge carries 15 to 30 years in prison.
According to the criminal complaint, Stephen, 42, confessed to secretly recording the boys naked in a hotel room during a trip to a basketball game in Chicago.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation executed warrants for Stephen’s homes, vehicles and person. They allegedly found a USB device that contained hundreds videos of the boys, stored in folders with the boys’ names on them. The boys’ parents allegedly identified them from the videos.
“He stated his purpose for creating the videos was for curiosity involving sexual development and adolescent development,” according to the complaint, which was written by special agent Ryan Kedley of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.
“Stephen also indicated he was looking at how much taller the kids were going to get and how developed they were,” the complaint alleges. “He then acknowledged there had been some nudity captured on the videos he had made.
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The complaint also alleges that Stephens admitted that part of his observation was of the boys’ genitals and body hair. He allegedly denies making any sexual advances towards his players.
Authorities allegedly asked Stephen whether he became aroused by looking at the videos. “Stephen stated maybe a little bit,” the complaint alleges, “in the same way you would be aroused when you view anyone naked.”
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The complaint alleges that investigators interviewed a boy who had been a member of the team in 2016. The boy alleged that he had gone on a trip with Stephen and two other boys. Stephen allegedly shared a bed with the boy in the hotel room; two other boys slept on the floor. The boy alleged that during the night, he awoke to find that the blankets were shaking. He believed that Stephen was masturbating next to him in the bed.
Stephen was the co-founder of the Iowa Barnstormers traveling team, where players range in age from 5th-12th grade boys and 7th-11th grade girls. The program fields teams in Amateur Athletic Union events and is sponsored by Adidas. The program has produced several college players since its 2005 founding.