Authorities investigating an eastern Iowa basketball coach for sexual abuse and exploitation said victims can still come forward to share their information.
Greg Stephen admitted to sexually exploiting and abusing hundreds of kids. He was a long-time coach and co-director of the traveling basketball program Barnstormers.
Authorities arrested Stephen in March after someone found a recording device in his home with videos of boys showering.
Stephen acknowledged he had a hard drive containing folders named for 400 different boys. According to prosecutors, the victims' folders had at least one explicit video or photo of each.
Now the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation is telling victims they can still come forward.
However, a sexual abuse therapist with the Riverview Center in Dubuque said some may not want to come forward.
Sarah Stangl said some victims will fear stigma or what people might say if they find out.
For parents, friends or others who may be worried a child has been sexually abused or exploited, Stangl said to watch out for signs of "grooming".
She said grooming is how abusers gain the trust of victims. Stangl explained, "an individual, when they’re looking to exploit and sexually abuse, they first have to gain that person’s trust. They have to fill a need, or a gap that’s there. Be able to isolate the victim, and really, really work on kind of shutting them off from other resources.”
She said an outsider might notice the pair has a strong relationship. That might mean more time is being spent together, maybe alone on drives or at night.
Stangl explained kids might show some signs abuse is happening, but sometimes they don't.
"Whether it’s social isolation or backing away from people, you may not see any signs at all," Stangl said. "And that’s the difficult part of it."
In most cases, Stangl said people will blame themselves for what's happened to them or a loved one. She said it's never anyone's fault but the perpetrator.
Stephen pled guilty to child sexual exploitation and child pornography last week, but DCI agent Ryan Kedley said that doesn't mean victims can't still come forward.
He encourages them to contact his office at (563) 357-5348.