Sports Parent’s Nightmare: Iowa Youth Basketball Coach Pleads Guilty to Exploiting 400 Boys

Former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar’s trial and epic sentencing on multiple sexual assault charges earlier this year struck fear into the heart of every sports parent: could they really trust the coaches and sports personnel that their kids were spending hours and hours with? What about coaches of travel teams? I know Nassar’s trial and his victims’ impact statements caused many parents to have conversations with their young athletes about who could do what to their body, be it a coach, a sports doctor, or an athletic trainer.

Because surely, Larry Nassar wasn’t the only sports professional out there using his position to take advantage of young athletes.

This week in Iowa, there is definitive proof of that. The Iowa Register reports that 42-year-old Greg Stephen, a leading Iowa youth basketball coach, has admitted to exploiting or molesting over 400 young boys over a period of several years. His crimes range from secretly video taping boys showering to fondling them in their sleep to posing as a girl online to get them to send him nude photos and videos.

Last week, Greg Stephen plead guilty to five counts of sexual exploitation of minors, one count of possessing child pornography and one count of transporting child pornography in federal court in Cedar Rapids. His crimes are massive and heinous, and he perpetrated nearly all of them easily because of his position as the co-founder of the Iowa Barnstormers of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).

Greg Stephen’s crimes came to light only because of an unlikely hero: his former brother-in-law, Vaughn Ellison. The Register reports that Ellison was re-modeling Stephen’s home when he found a video recording device in the bathroom. He took it to police when he discovered that it had videos of young boys showering on it. I imagine that Vaughn Ellison saved many more young boys from being abused and exploited.

Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson
Jenny is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor.

Related Posts


Recent Stories