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Drew Drechsel update: He pled guilty. Read the former Ninja Warrior star’s plea deal.

Drew Drechsel update: He pled guilty. Read the former Ninja Warrior star’s plea deal.
Drew Drechsel during the American Ninja Warrior qualifiers in 2014, the same year he was accused of meeting a teenage fan (Screenshot via NBC)

American Ninja Warrior champion Drew Drechsel—who was edited out of season 12 of the NBC competition after being charged with sex offenses that could have lead to life in prison—has agreed to plead guilty to two felonies.

That’s according to U.S. court records obtained by reality blurred that you can read below.

The charges came from a U.S. Attorney who claimed Drew met a young fan at an event, and later invited her to his gym, where they had sex when she was 15 and he was 26.

Drew is currently being held at the Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ inmate locator.

Last year, I talked to ANW showrunner Anthony Storm, asking if Drew’s arrest affected the show’s production, and he told me, “We’re a little bit more rigorous in the way that we evaluate our athletes. That said, you’re talking about an individual and not someone that is representative of the community. I think it’s extremely unfortunate that Drew did use his celebrity in that way.”

What Drew Drechsel was charged with

A person in a sleeveless shirt with an American flag on the shoulder
Drew Drechsel on American Ninja Warrior: USA vs. the World season 3 (Screenshot via NBC)

In 2020, after an FBI investigation, the United States Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey, accused him of the following:

“Drechsel sought to have sex with a minor girl and traveled to New Jersey with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with that minor. He also enticed and coerced a minor to travel to Connecticut to engage in illicit sexual conduct and engaged in online sexual communications with a minor and induced her to manufacture sexually explicit images of herself and send them to Drechsel. 

He was charged “with manufacture of child pornography, enticement of a minor to travel for illicit sexual conduct, travel with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, and use of interstate commerce to entice a minor.”

The full complaint said the victim:

first met DRECHSEL in person in 2014, after an event attended by numerous contestants in the television program, “American Ninja Warrior.” DRECHSEL and Victim 1 exchanged telephone numbers and began communicating with one another via text message. Their text message communications continued until June 2019.

[…]

On or about July 6, 2015, Victim 1, then 15 years old, and DRECHSEL exchanged a text message conversation regarding Victim 1’s upcoming visit to DRECHSEL’s gym, “Ninja Gym” located at the New Era Gymnastics facility in Hamden, Connecticut. At the time, Victim 1 was a resident of New Jersey. During the text exchange they also described plans for sexual activity, including Victim 1 preforming oral sex on DRECHSEL.

It goes on to say that they had sex behind the warped wall in his gym, and that when confronted by the victim’s mother, Drew acknowledged having sex but said he did not know her age. They continued to meet for sex, and she sent explicit photographs and performed sexually over Skype for Drew.

June 2023 updates in Drew Drechsel’s case

Drew Drechsel competing on stage three of the final course during the American Ninja Warrior season 11 "Las Vegas National Finals Night 4" episode, on which someone will win $1 million
Drew Drechsel competing on stage three of the final course during the American Ninja Warrior season 11 “Las Vegas National Finals Night 4” episode, on which someone will win $1 million. (Photo by David Becker/NBC)

On June 1, 2023, Drew signed a Waiver of An Indictment, which says:

“I understand that I have been accused of one or more offenses punishable by imprisonment for more than one year. I was advised in open court of my rights and the nature of the proposed charges against me.

After receiving this advice, I waive my right to prosecution by indictment and consent to prosecution by information.”

As part of that, Drew entered a plea of guilty on counts one and two.

  1. Count 1 is the “Receipt Child Pornography” between March 2015 and December 2016, and carries a minimum of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison, plus a maximum of a $250,000 fine
  2. Count 2 is “Enticement to Travel for Illicit Sexual Conduct” between January 2015 and April 2016, and carries a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

On a form titled Application for Permission to Enter Plea of Guilty, filed June 1, 2023, with the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Drew wrote, in his own handwriting, that he:

“received child pornography and enticed an individual to travel across state lines for sex.”

Drew also agrees to register as a sex offender upon release from prison, and forfeit 15 electronic devices “used in the commission of the offense,” which include seven computers and eight cell phones.

Sentencing is set for Oct. 24 at 11 a.m. in Camden, New Jersey, and he was “remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal,” according to court records.

Update, Oct. 30, 2023: The sentencing date has passed and there’s been no update to his public case records as of today.

Update, Jan. 19, 2024: Sentencing has been rescheduled for Jan. 24, 2024, at 11 a.m. in Camden, New Jersey, with Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez presiding. That notice was added to court records on Dec. 6, 2023.

Update, Jan. 27: On Jan. 24, sentencing was postponed to March 6, 2024, at 11 a.m.

A letter from the office of United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, Philip Sellinger, says the prison sentences “may run consecutively to each other,” meaning Drew could face 60 years in prison. Previously, he faced life in prison.

Below, you can read the plea agreement letter, the document that details the counts that he’s pleading guilty to, and his application to enter a guilty plea.

Plea agreement

Application for permission to enter a guilty plea

Information as to counts 1 and 2

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Happy discussing!

Rage

Monday 25th of December 2023

December 2023. Are there any news about his records?

Norma

Friday 27th of October 2023

The sentencing was supposed to happen this week. Any updates?

Carlos

Wednesday 25th of October 2023

Hi Andy. You said: "Sentencing is set for Oct. 24 at 11 a.m. in Camden, New Jersey, and he was “remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal,” according to court records". Oct. 24 is over so...can you update about this case?. Thank you very much and have a nice day.

Simon

Wednesday 15th of November 2023

@Andy Dehnart, Its been almost a month any updates

Andy Dehnart

Wednesday 25th of October 2023

Hi Carlos. It's a good question, and I don't know! I just checked court records, and there's been no update since the filing of this plea deal. There may have been court action, perhaps a delay or perhaps sentencing, that has not yet been entered. I will absolutely keep following up and update and/or publish a new story once I see something.

B.K.

Wednesday 11th of October 2023

Wait? She sent him a nude shot, and that's maximum of 40 years. He brought her across state lines to rape her and that's a maximum of 20 years?

Does anyone but me think our justice system is focusing on the wrong thing? Shouldn't rape be much more significant then getting a 'sext' from someone?

SassyRebelBelle

Tuesday 29th of August 2023

Its a terrible thing. Lives ruined. I have wondered about all these young men opening all these gyms for children. I also do not think they should have adults and children competing together as they are now. Lots of opportunity for more of the same to happen. We are not interested in watching 14-16 yr olds compete against 42 yr old men. It’s a cautionary tale and as usual, no one is paying attention. “Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it” George Santayana