The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating allegations that former Iowa Barnstormers AAU program co-director Greg Stephen was in possession of videos of young, “disrobed” boys, the Des Moines Register learned Friday evening.
According to court documents, DCI was issued a warrant to secure a “device” belonging to Stephen that “was found to contain video clips believed to depict young, non-adult, disrobed male individuals” who appeared to not be aware they were being filmed, DCI special agent Richard Rahn said in an interview with the Register on Friday night.
A source notified DCI that they were in possession of potential evidence of criminal activity by Stephen on Feb. 18. According to the court documents, the source had been doing contract work at Stephen’s home days earlier when he noticed a “plug-in electronic charging device” in the bathroom that appeared to have video-recording capabilities.
According to court documents, the source took the video-recording device from Stephen’s home and handed it over to DCI on Monday.
On Wednesday, DCI special agent Ryan Kedley and a forensic examiner found an “excess of one hundred” clips within the device’s storage, according to the court documents. They also found three folders labeled with specific names. In two of those folders, the court documents state, Kedley and the forensic examiner saw clips of young boys undressing to the point of nudity — with genitals exposed — in what appeared to be a hotel bathroom.
According to the court documents, videos of a white adult male who appeared to be Stephen were also found on the recording device.
On Thursday afternoon, officials also took 12 items from Stephen’s Monticello home, including two laptops, three Nest security cameras and two “covert” cameras found in a backpack.
Late Thursday night, the Barnstormers tweeted that Stephen, 42, was no longer affiliated with the club, effective immediately.
The Barnstormers, which field AAU teams in both boys and girls basketball, have been the top high school-level boys AAU team in the state for the last several years. The organization is not affiliated with the Des Moines-based Iowa Barnstormers of the Indoor Football League.
Stephen, who has not been charged with a crime, coached a team comprised mostly of 15- and 16-year-old boys. But as the organization’s co-director, he was involved with every boy in the club.
A former Barnstormers player contacted by the Register said that Stephen had engaged in sexual behavior around him.
The player said he woke up to Stephen masturbating next to him and a fellow teammate while they slept in the same bed at a hotel during an AAU event last summer. The player was 14 at the time. He said Stephen slept in the same bed as his players “quite often.” He said he hasn’t heard of Stephen engaging in inappropriate behavior like this with anyone else.
A current Barnstormers player contacted by the Register said that after Stephen’s exit was announced Thursday night, Stephen told him that “he won’t be around for a while.”
Stephen did not respond to multiple calls from the Register, but his father, Roger Stephen, told the AP: “There’s nothing to hide. It isn’t the way it looks. My son has got many, many scholarship players for all the schools around here. The team has been a great, great deal for the community. He’s a great guy and there’s no reason for all this to happen.”
Barnstormers founder and co-director Jamie Johnson told the Register Friday night that he first learned of DCI’s investigation into Greg Stephen Thursday night.
“I just don’t know how long this has been going on,” said Johnson, who said he’s known Stephen for 16 years. “And if this is all true, when and why? Was (Stephen) really into basketball to help kids and it turned into something else? Or was this something sinister to get close to kids? I don’t even know. I just can’t wrap my mind around it.
“You read these things in the news with (Joe) Paterno and (Larry) Nassar — how bad that stuff is — yet you’re kind of removed from the situation. ‘It’s not happening to me.’ I’ve never in a million years thought I’d have to answer questions like this. This doesn’t even compute in my mind.”
Johnson emailed parents of the Barnstormers’ players Friday night.
He said he hopes to begin a dialogue with the Barnstormers’ families and urges any player — whether former or present — to contact the DCI with any information regarding Stephen’s actions.
“At this point, I would like to — and hope to — keep things going,” Johnson said. “I started it a long time ago to help kids — and I think we’ve done that. I can’t believe that this has happened. It really tarnishes a lot of the efforts that a lot of people over the years have put through — be it players, parents, coaches. I hope that we can continue to operate and do those things, and not have that element among us anymore.”
The Iowa DCI asks that anyone with information or questions regarding the case should call 563-284-9506.