AAU And Barnstormers Youth Basketball Team Named In Class Action Lawsuit over Coach Sexual Abuse

DES MOINES, Iowa--  The Amateur Athletic Union, Barnstormers Basketball of Iowa, and its former youth coach Greg Stephen are named in a new class action lawsuit.

Attorneys filed the lawsuit last week on behalf of any athlete who may have traveled and stayed in rooms booked by Stephen over the last 13 years.

It alleges the Barnstormers and the AAU failed to protect its players from Stephens and implement safety measures.

Last month, Stephen pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual exploitation of a child and transportation and possession of child pornography.

Stephens admitted to secretly recording nude videos of hundreds of boys.  He now faces up to 130 years in prison.  His sentencing date has not been set.

Barnstorms Director Jamie Johnson says prior to the official charges, the team was unaware of Stephens behavior.

About 400 victims have joined the lawsuit, and attorneys say there could be more who step forward.

“There are several messages as to why they should join this case. First of all, its important that the conduct changes in the future so that there are no other victims,” Attorney Guy Cook said.

Cook says other defendants might be added to the suit.

The AAU issued this statement to Channel 13 News:

"The AAU takes the allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously. When we learned through media reports in February of the federal investigation into Greg Stephen, his AAU membership was immediately revoked and he was removed as coach and AAU program co-director of the Iowa Barnstormers, the team he co-founded. 

"His arrest in March by the FBI and guilty plea in October reaffirmed our decision to end the AAU's relationship with Greg Stephen. He committed horrific, predatory acts against the young players he coached, betraying the trust of those players and the AAU. The AAU encourages any other players sexually abused by Greg Stephen to come forward to the authorities."