Monticello basketball coach sentenced to 180 years in prison

Monticello basketball coach sentenced to 180 years in prison

A former area youth basketball coach was sentenced to 180 years in prison on May 2 after a judge said he secretly collected 440 sexual images of boys and additionally molested at least 15 over a 20-year period, according to the Associated Press.

The former Iowa Barnstomers Coach Gregory S. Stephen, of Monticello, was given the maximum penalty by U.S. District Judge C.J. Williams. Williams called Stephen’s crimes horrendous and said that he abused his position of power to prey on young boys, who saw him as their ticket to play college basketball, the A.P. reported.

“The harm (Stephen) caused to the children is incalculable and profound,” Williams stated, adding that Stephen’s conduct was “of such an extreme nature” that it warranted what is effectively a life sentence.

Stephen’s defense had asked the judge for a sentence of no more than 20 years, arguing he was not a threat to society, the AP reported, adding that Stephen is expected to appeal his conviction and sentence.