'American Ninja Warrior' champ Drew Drechsel charged with child sex crimes: prosecutors

Drew Drechsel, 2019's "American Ninja Warrior" champion, has been charged with child sex crimes, the U.S. Attorney's Office of the District of New Jersey said in a press release on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old has been charged with the manufacture of child pornography and enticement of a minor to travel for illicit sexual conduct, as well as, travel with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, and use of interstate commerce to entice a minor, per the release.

He was arrested in Florida, where he made his initial appearance in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, before being transferred to the District of New Jersey.

According to the complaint, Drechsel, then 26, met the alleged victim in 2014 when they swapped phone numbers and began texting.

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In July of 2015, when the minor was roughly 15 years old, she traveled to Drechsel's gym, where the two allegedly had sex after Drechsel's girlfriend left the property. The alleged victim told her mother about the encounter the following day, according to the complaint.

Per the complaint, the mother confronted Drechsel, who allegedly "did not deny the sexual activity, but rather stated he did not know her age at the time."

In 2016, the documents allege that Drechsel traveled to New Jersey, where he picked up the minor, took her to a restaurant parking lot and had sex with her again.

The victim alleged that they had sex several more times when she was between the ages of 15 and 17, and they had video chats, in which he allegedly told her "to be nude and directed her to masturbate so he could view it," the complaint reads.

Several images and a video of the minor doing so were allegedly found on an old phone belonging to Drechsel, per the complaint.

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The first photo was taken in March 2015, when the victim was 14 years old, and several others are dated later, indicating she was 15 or 16 when the images were taken. A video, seemingly a chat recorded by Drechsel, was taken in December 2015, when the victim was just 15, per the complaint.

Frank J. Riccio II, Drechsel's lawyer, issued a statement on Twitter and declined to comment further when reached by Fox News.

"Mr. Drechsel is presumed innocent of the charges and that presumption will remain throughout the pendency of his case," said the message. "He intends on entering a 'not guilty' plea."

If you or someone you know is suffering from abuse, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

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