Former Connecticut 'American Ninja Warrior' Contestant Sentenced in Child Pornography Case – NBC New York

A former “American Ninja Warrior” contestant who lived in Connecticut has been sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison in a child pornography and exploitation case involving a New Jersey victim.

Andrew Drechsel, 35, was sentenced Thursday in New Jersey for receiving child pornography and enticing travel for illicit sexual conduct, according to U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Philip R. Sellinger.

Drechsel, a resident of Saint Cloud, Florida, lived in Hamden, Connecticut from 2014 until November 8, 2019.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said the victim lived in New Jersey.

On November 8, 2019, law enforcement officers searched one of Drechsel's phones and found images of child sexual abuse, including images of the victim when she was 14 years old, federal authorities said.

They said Drechsel admitted to meeting the victim through his activities in the parkour community as an “American Ninja Warrior,” that the victim crossed state lines in July 2015 and that he had sexual relations with the person.

Drechsel pleaded guilty on June 1, 2023. He was sentenced to 121 months in prison, followed by 15 years of supervised release.

He was also ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution to the victim.

“American Ninja Warrior” airs on NBC. NBCUniversal and the show's production company, A. Smith & Co., issued a statement to NBC Philadelphia in 2020 after the charges were filed, saying they would “sever all ties with Mr. Drechsel, including his appearance in future seasons of the show. “

“We are shocked and disturbed to learn of the accusations against Drew Drechsel,” the statement read. “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 incredible stories of so many others.” »

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