Former American Ninja Warrior Champion Drew Drechsel megshot

Drew Drechsel, Former 'American Ninja Warrior' Winner Sentenced For Child Sex Crimes

Home / News / Drew Drechsel, Former 'American Ninja Warrior' Winner Sentenced For Child Sex Crimes

By Kelly Coffey-Behrens on June 28, 2024 at 4:00 PM EDT

Andrew 'Drew' Drechsel, former "American Ninja Warrior" champion, has been sentenced to just over ten years in prison following his conviction on multiple child sex crime charges.

The 35-year-old was arrested in August 2020 after he met a teenage girl in 2014 and began a sexual relationship with her.

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Drew Drechsel Sentenced To 121 Months In Prison

Former American Ninja Warrior Champion Drew Drechsel megshot
Seminole County Sheriff's Office

On Wednesday, June 26, 2024, the United States Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey confirmed that the season 11 winner of "American Ninja Warrior," has been sentenced to 121 months in prison for charges related to receiving child pornography and enticing a minor to engage in illicit sexual conduct.

Drechsel "pleaded guilty on June 1, 2023, before Chief U.S. District Judge Renée M. Bumb to an information charging him with one count of receiving child pornography and one count of knowingly persuading, inducing, enticing and coercing a minor to travel interstate to engage in sexual activity for which the defendant can be charged with a crime," per the Attorney's Office.

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Alongside the prison sentence, Judge Bumb sentenced him to 15 years of supervised release and mandated payment of $100,000 in restitution to the victim.

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Law Enforcement Arrests Drew Drechsel

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Canva Stock Images

According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court, Drechsel lived in Hamden, Connecticut, from 2014 to November 8, 2019, while the teenage girl lived in New Jersey.

On November 8, 2019, "law enforcement agents searched one of Drechsel’s phones and found images of child sexual abuse, including photos and videos of the victim when the victim was 14 and 15 years old," per the release. "Drechsel admitted that he originally met the victim in 2014 through his activities in the parkour community as an 'American Ninja Warrior.' Drechsel admitted texting the victim and discussing his plans to engage in sexual activity with the victim."

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"At Drechsel's urging, the victim traveled across state lines in July 2015 so that Drechsel could have sexual relations with the victim," the Attorney's Office added.

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What Was Drew Drechsel Charged With?

Police crime scene

According to reports, 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.”

“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," the United States Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey alleged. "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."

The Initial Complaint

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Per the initial complaint, the victim first met Drechsel "in person in 2014, after an event attended by numerous contestants in the television program, 'American Ninja Warrior.'"

The competitor and the victim "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, [the victim], then 15 years old, and Drechsel exchanged a text message conversation regarding [the victim's] upcoming visit to Drechsel gym, 'Ninja Gym' located at the New Era Gymnastics facility in Hamden, Connecticut."

At the time, the victim resided in New Jersey. "During the text exchange, they also described plans for sexual activity, including [the victim] performing oral sex on Drechsel."

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They also allegedly "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 the victim allegedly sent explicit photographs and performed sexually over Skype for Drew."

NBC Releases Statement

Following the initial 2020 charges, NBC, the company that produces "American Ninja Warrior," released the following statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

“We are shocked and disturbed to learn about the charges alleged against Drew Drechse. '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.”

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

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