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Agents search Iowa youth basketball coach’s cabin in nude videos case

  • THE DES MOINES REGISTER VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Former Iowa Barnstormers coach Greg Stephen is pictured in a Sept. 2008 photo. Investigators have seized a trove of electronic devices from a northeastern Iowa cabin owned by Stephens, a youth basketball coach under investigation for allegedly making videos of naked boys.

DELHI, Iowa >> Investigators seized phones, hard drives and other devices during a search of a cabin owned by a prominent Iowa youth basketball coach under investigation for allegedly making videos of boys showering, court records show.

An investigator also said today that Iowa officials are considering asking the FBI to join the probe into Greg Stephen, which has stunned the state’s basketball scene.

Stephen, 42, hasn’t been charged with any crimes. He was one of two founders and the co-director of the Iowa Barnstormers, a traveling Amateur Athletic Union team that has produced several Division I college basketball players. The Barnstormers organization cut ties with Stephen on Thursday after learning that the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation was investigating potential child pornography and invasion of privacy charges involving him.

Agents searched Stephen’s home in Monticello, about 130 miles northeast of Des Moines, and seized several items Thursday. Newly available documents show agents also searched his cabin in the popular recreation area near Lake Delhi, which is about 10 miles north of Monticello. Investigators say a source told them that Stephen occasionally spent weekends there and used it for summertime group gatherings with players. Federal tax filings show the Barnstormers listed the cabin as its mailing address.

Agents seized at least 10 cellphones and tablets, along with hard drives, thumb drives, memory cards, digital video cassettes and documents related to team operations. The Barnstormers field teams from 4th grade through 12th grade and Stephen worked with all ages, most recently coaching the 10th-grade team.

The searches came after a source gave police a recording device that contained video clips of underage males disrobing in a hotel bathroom, apparently unaware they were being recorded. The source, whose name is redacted from court documents, told police he discovered the device while performing home improvement work at Stephen’s home and that he had prior concerns about pornographic images Stephen possessed of young males.

Attempts to reach Stephen by phone, through social media and at the family-owned Monticello car dealership where he’s a general manager have failed. His father, Roger Stephen, said Friday that “there is no problem” and that allegations of wrongdoing are “fake news.” On Monday, Roger Stephen said his son was “doing good” and consulting with multiple lawyers, whom he didn’t identify.

Iowa DCI Special Agent Rick Rahn said the FBI hasn’t been asked to participate in the case to date, but “we’re looking at that angle.”

“We are looking to see what partnerships we want to be able to make that we feel would better the investigation,” he said.

The Barnstormers said last week the Adidas-sponsored organization was shocked by the inquiry and asked players to report any wrongdoing to police. The organization indicated Sunday it intends to keep operating, pledging to “proceed with our mission of helping kids reach their goals and dreams” and announcing new leadership roles.

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