Drew Drechsel will be edited out of next season of “American Ninja Warrior” following his arrest and subsequent child sex crime charges Tuesday, a person with knowledge of the situation tells TheWrap. He was a competitor in the season, which is set to air this fall.
NBC cut ties with the former champion Wednesday as accusations surfaced that he had sex with a 15-year-old girl in 2015 and several more times over the next two years. Drechsel has maintained his innocence via a statement from his lawyer.
“We are shocked and disturbed to learn about the charges alleged against Drew Drechsel. ‘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,” NBC and studio A. Smith & Co. said in a joint statement earlier Wednesday. “Moving forward, the ‘American Ninja Warrior’ brand will sever all ties with Mr. Drechsel, including his appearance on future seasons of the show.”
According to a criminal complaint, the unnamed minor came forward in June 2019 alleging that she had met and exchanged numbers with Drechsel at an “American Ninja Warrior” event in 2014. Their sexual relationship began around her 15th birthday when Drechsel invited her to his gym in Hamden, Connecticut. The TV star, now 31, was 26 years old at the time. The complaint also alleges that Drechsel enticed the minor to send him naked photos and videos, which he kept on an old phone.
In addition to seeking sex with a minor, Drechsel was also charged with manufacturing child pornography, enticing a minor to travel for illicit sexual conduct, traveling with the intent to have sex with a minor, and using interstate commerce to entice a minor, according to a release from the New Jersey District Attorney.