Authorities arrested American Ninja Warrior winner Drew Drechsel Tuesday on charges of allegedly luring an underage girl for sexual relations. NBC learned of the charges and has severed all ties with Drechsel. They further reiterated that American Ninja Warrior is a family show.
"We are shocked and disturbed to learn about the charges alleged against Drew Drechsel," the company said in a statement. "American Ninja Warrior is a family show that has inspired countless people, and we will not let the actions of one contestant tarnish the hard work and amazing stories of so many. Moving forward, the American Ninja Warrior brand will sever all ties with Mr. Drechsel, including his appearance on future seasons of the show." The news follows NBC re-airing multiple episodes featuring Drechsel on Monday night.
News of Drechsel's arrest surfaced on Tuesday after TMZ obtained court documents. The outlet reported that the alleged victim contacted the police in June 2019. She claimed in the documents that she and the recent winner allegedly started having sex when she was 15 and he was 26. She also claims they met in 2014 after an American Ninja Warrior event. They allegedly exchanged numbers and began texting each other — although the alleged victim claims that Drechsel asked her to delete the text messages.
The documents continued to outline an alleged incident that occurred in Hamden, Connecticut. Drechsel reportedly invited the underage girl to his gym as a 15th birthday present. They then allegedly had sex after Drechsel's girlfriend left the gym, and the alleged victim told the police that she informed her mother of the encounter the next day.
In the documents, the alleged victim's mother claims that she confronted Drechsel and that he did not deny sexual relations. He allegedly claimed that he didn't know the girl's age. The documents also allege that Drechsel frequently asked the victim to Skype with him while she was naked. The federal agents also allegedly found child pornography on Drechsel's phone.
The United States Attorney's Office said in a press release that the former American Ninja Warrior winner "is charged by complaint with the 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 press release stated that Drechsel made his initial appearance before a judge U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Following this appearance, U.S. Marshals transported him to New Jersey, where he will stand trial.