Judge Upholds Seizure of Secret Recording Device from Stephen

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – A federal judge has dealt a blow to the defense for an Iowa youth basketball coach charged with secretly recording his teenage players undressing.

Judge C.J. Williams ruled Thursday that the seizure of a USB device from former Iowa Barnstormers coach Greg Stephen didn’t violate his privacy rights.

The ruling means prosecutors can use videos found on the device against Stephen, who is charged with transporting and possessing child pornography and sexually exploiting minors. Stephen allegedly recorded players disrobing during trips to tournaments.

Stephen’s former brother-in-law, Vaughn Ellison, discovered the device in a bathroom when he was remodeling Stephen’s Monticello home. He later gave it to police.

Stephen’s attorneys argued Ellison was acting a government agent when he took the device, and that police violated Stephen’s rights by holding it for two days before obtaining a warrant.

Williams rejected those arguments. Both sides are discussing a possible plea agreement.