Drechsel`s attorney, Frank J. Riccio II, issued a statement on Twitter. "Mr. Drechsel is presumed innocent of the charges, and this presumption will remain for the duration of his case. He intends to plead `not guilty`. A nine-time contestant on the steeplechase TV series, Drechsel was the "last ninja to stand up" in 2016 and 2018, and last year he became only the third person in the series` 11 seasons to complete all stages. In a statement to USA TODAY, Frank J. Riccio II, a Connecticut attorney representing Drechsel, said his client "maintains his innocence and intends to plead not guilty in his case. We are waiting for the evidence to be reviewed in order to properly assess all the options available to him. "Mr. Drechsel is presumed innocent of the charges and this presumption will remain throughout the ongoing nature of his case," Riccio wrote.

"You are respectfully asked to respect the privacy of Mr. Drechsel and his family. Drechsel, 31, of Saint Cloud, Florida, appeared Tuesday in federal court in Florida and is expected to be transferred to New Jersey, where the case will be pursued. In part of a statement shared on Twitter, Drechsel`s attorney, Frank J. Riccio II, issued a statement on Twitter on behalf of the athlete saying, "I represent Drew Drechsel with respect to the criminal charges against him. Mr. Drechsel is presumed innocent of the charges and this presumption will remain for the duration of his case. He intends to plead "not guilty". The privacy of Mr.

Drechsel and his family is respectful. The federal indictment grew out of a series of encounters that allegedly began five years ago with a New Jersey girl who was 15 at the time. Over the next two years, she claimed, they met again in person for sex and had sex via Skype. American Ninja Warrior champion Drew Drechsel has been charged with sex crimes against minors, the U.S. District Attorney`s Office for the District of New Jersey announced Tuesday. Also Read: NBCUniversal Begins Layoffs Before Another Reorganization in 2020 The two met several times and stayed in touch through 2019, according to the complaint. In June last year, the minor filed a complaint with the police when she was 19. The complaint states that the victim "threatened to harm herself" if her mother called the police in advance. When the girl`s mother told Drechsel about the incident, the report explains that the then 26-year-old American Ninja Warrior star "did not deny the sexual activity, but said he did not know her age at the time." Drechsel and the girl met several times after 2014. They spoke to each other until June 2019. Drechsel allegedly met the alleged victim at an American Ninja Warrior event and arranged for him to visit his Connecticut gym, Real Life Ninja Academy, in July 2015. The girl said they had oral sex and then sex on a mattress behind the "warped wall" he used to train.

Drechsel, who made his first "ninja" appearance in 2011, became only the second winner of NBC`s 11 seasons of the grueling obstacle course competition that began in Japan last summer. According to an affidavit, in 2015, Drechsel had sex with the alleged victim, then 15, at his gym in Hamden, Connecticut, behind a warped wall, a high, curved obstacle that is a staple of the competition. Last year`s American Ninja Warrior champion has been accused of attempting to have sex with an underage girl and producing child pornography. Authorities said they found several sexually explicit photos of the victim during their investigation when she was a minor. If convicted, charges range from maximum prison sentences to 20 years in prison. The charges each carry a fine of up to $250,000. When the girl`s mother confronted Drochsel, he allegedly "did not deny the sexual activity, but said he did not know her age at the time." The two exchanged phone numbers at that event and started writing. Drechsel, then 26, arranged for the girl, who was living in New Jersey at the time, to visit her gym in Hamden, Connecticut, in July 2015 as a gift for her 15th birthday.