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Class-action lawsuit filed against Iowa Barnstormers, disgraced coach

A law firm based out of Des Moines is filing a class action lawsuit against the Iowa Barnstormers and its co-founder Greg Stephen after Stephen admitted to sexually exploiting hundreds of boys.

The class action lawsuit is also being brought against the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), an organization that develops youth sports nationwide.

Stephen recently pleaded guilty to seven federal charges, including transportation of child pornography and sexual exploitation of a child. But a plea agreement showed that Stephen's abuse went much deeper, revealing that he had a hard drive of explicit photos and videos of 400 minor boys that was found during a raid of his lake house in Delhi. Victims are still encouraged to come forward if they believe they were exploited by Stephen.

Stephen was initially arrested after Stephen's former brother-in-law, Vaughn Ellison, discovered a hidden recording device while performing contracting work at Stephen's home in Monticello, where Stephen and his father own a local car dealership. Concerned that it might be used to record visitors using the bathroom, Ellison took it and reviewed its contents. He turned the device over to the Monticello Police Department after seeing that it contained videos of boys showering in hotel bathrooms while on a trip.

Stephen acknowledged that he posed as a teenage girl online in order to acquire nude photos of teenage boys while he was a coach of the Iowa Barnstormers. Investigators believe his abuse could have dated back to 2005, and continued until early 2018.

Details of the lawsuit will be revealed Monday at a news conference.

Stephen faces 15 to 180 years in federal prison. He has yet to be sentenced.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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