The 2019 “American Ninja Warrior” champion Andrew Drechsel has been charged with child sex crimes.
Drechsel was charged with one count of attempting to have sex with a minor and one count of manufacturing child pornography, according to the criminal complaint. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey announced Drechsel had been arrested Tuesday afternoon in Florida, according to the Hartford Courant.
FBI agents today arrested Andrew “Drew” Drechsel, 31, of St Cloud, Florida, on a criminal complaint charging him with child sex offenses in New Jersey. He made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in FL, prior to his transfer to the District of NJ. https://t.co/9VAmYKgfyv
— FBI Philadelphia (@FBIPhiladelphia) August 4, 2020
The charges reportedly stem from alleged incidents that occurred between January 2015 and April of 2016. Drechsel allegedly met the victim at an event that was attended by other “American Ninja Warrior” contestants. The victim was 14 at the time they met.
Drechsel visited the victim on her 15th birthday at the “Ninja Gym” where he allegedly sexually assaulted her. The former champion was 26 years old at the time. Later Drechsel reportedly traveled from Connecticut to New Jersey where they engaged in another sexual encounter. (RELATED: Harvey Weinstein Claims He’ll Be ‘Fully Exonerated’ During Upcoming Rape Trial)
The victim also claimed that Drechsel requested nude photos. Police found videos and photos on Drechsel’s phone, the Courant reported.
Lawyer Frank J. Riccio II claimed he was representing Drechsel in a statement shared to his Twitter account.
Regarding Drew Dreschel: pic.twitter.com/xthvEOO3Hi
— Frank J. Riccio II (@RiccioLaw) August 4, 2020
“I am representing Drew Dreschel (sic) with respect to the criminal charges filed against him,” Riccio II said in his statement. “Mr. Dreschel (sic) is presumed innocent of the charges and that presumption will remain throughout the pendency of his case.”
“He intends on entering a ‘not guilty’ plea,” he continued. “It is respectfully requested that you respect the privacy of Mr. Dreschel (sic) and his family. All questions regarding the case can be directed to my attention.”