Judge orders life sentence for Iowa coach who abused players

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A judge has sentenced an influential Iowa youth basketball coach to an effective lifetime prison sentence for secretly collecting sexual images of 440 boys and fondling more than a dozen over a 20-year period.

U.S. District Judge C.J. Williams on Thursday sentenced former Iowa Barnstormers coach Greg Stephen to 180 years in federal prison, the maximum penalty he faced.

Williams called Stephen’s crimes horrendous, saying he abused his position of trust to prey upon boys who saw Stephen as a gateway to college basketball.

The sentence, handed down in federal court in Cedar Rapids, caps one of Iowa’s biggest and most stunning sexual abuse prosecutions involving youth sports.

Stephen had pleaded with the judge for leniency, asking for a chance to be released under supervision after serving a prison sentence.

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