'American Ninja Warrior': How Drew Drechsel lost 'real-life ninja' tag after arrest over sex crime allegations
NBC-backed 'American Ninja Warrior' will return with Season 12 on September 7 but without Drew Drechsel, who had filmed for the eight-episode competition series a couple of months ago. A champ, father, and a revered ninja warrior -- Drew worked hard for almost a decade to earn fame, money, and reputation, most of which was demolished following his arrest on August 4 in Florida over accusations of seeking sex with a minor and charges of child pornography.
He had allegedly been involved with the said underage girl since 2015. They met at an 'American Ninja Warrior' event where they exchanged numbers and stayed in touch until June 2019, stated an official press release issued by the US Attorney’s Office of the District of New Jersey. The statement further pointed to details of Drew's sexual encounters and how he would convince the girl to send him nudes and engage in sexual activities with him. Their relationship spanned over four years before the minor shared details of her sexual encounters with Drew, with her mother, who then consulted with the CHPD detectives. The mother of the girl shared that Drew did not deny the act but said that he did not know about the minor's age.
Soon after his arrest, Dreschel’s lawyer Frank J. Riccio II, posted on Twitter explaining how the athlete and his legal team wishes to approach the case.
“Mr. Drechsel is presumed innocent of the charges and that presumption will remain throughout the pendency of his case. He intends on entering a ‘not guilty’ plea,” the lawyer wrote and added: “It is respectfully requested that you respect the privacy of Mr. Drechsel and his family.”
Regarding Drew Dreschel: pic.twitter.com/xthvEOO3Hi— Frank J. Riccio II (@RiccioLaw) August 4, 2020
But before all this went down, Drew was known as the 2019 'ANW' champion who was looking at giving his then to-be-born son a good life and spending quality time with his family in Florida. "I do have family that I want to take care of, I have a baby boy on the way and want to make sure that he's going to be set, and I am looking to move back down to Florida (from Connecticut) to be closer to my family," Drew shared his future plans with USA Today and added that he intends on opening up more Ninja gyms across the country. Drew and long-time girlfriend April Beckner welcomed their firstborn in December, 2019, the couple named him Korey Kade Drechsel.
He is not only passionate about being an athlete but also sharing tricks of the trade with those interested. He has served as a mentor on 'American Ninja Warrior Junior,' a spinoff series that features children ages 9-14 as competitors. But looks like he has been let go of that role. Soon after the news of his arrest flooded the web, NBC released a statement announcing it would cut all ties with the 'Real Life Ninja' and ensure he doesn't appear on upcoming seasons.
"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," a spokesperson for NBCUniversal said.
Drew has lost a lot in a battle that has just begun, including thousands of ardent followers on social media and beyond.