American ninja warrior Champion Drew Drechsel has been charged with sex crimes involving a minor, the New Jersey district attorney’s office said on Tuesday.
Drechsel, 31, of Saint Cloud, Fla., Has been charged with making child pornography, inducing a minor to travel for illicit sex, travel with intent to engage in illicit sex with a minor and use of interstate commerce to attract a minor, authorities said. He made his first court appearance on Tuesday.
According to the complaint, Drechsel, the 2019 American ninja warrior champion (also “mentor” for several seasons on American Ninja Warrior Junior) allegedly sought to have sex with a minor and traveled to New Jersey to do so. In addition, Drechsel “instigated and coerced a minor to travel to Connecticut to engage in illicit sexual behavior and engaged in online sexual communications with a minor and instigated her to fabricate sexually explicit images. itself and send them to Drechsel. ”
Specifically, Drechsel is accused of having had sex from 2015 with a then 15-year-old girl, who started in Hamden, Connecticut. The first alleged incident took place in his gymnasium. A number of sexual incidents involving the same victim also allegedly took place in New Jersey over a period of several years, according to the complaint. The victim filed a police report in June 2019.
Drechsel’s lawyer Frank J. Riccio II issued a statement on Twitter. “Mr. Drechsel is presumed innocent of the charges and this presumption will remain throughout his trial. He intends to plead “not guilty”. ”
According to authorities, the use of interstate commerce to attract the count carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. The count of inducing travel for illicit sexual conduct carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The count of travel with the intent to engage in illicit sex carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, and the count of making child pornography carries a minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years. years in prison. All counts are also punishable by a fine of up to $ 250,000 per count, officials said.
NBC said in a statement Wednesday that Drechsel had been removed from the show. “We are shocked and disturbed to learn of the charges against Drew Drechsel,” the statement read. ” American ninja warrior is a family show that has inspired countless people, and we won’t let the actions of one contestant tarnish the hard work and incredible stories of so many. Go ahead, the American ninja warrior the brand will sever all ties with Mr. Drechsel, including his appearance on future seasons of the show.