A New Jersey youth wrestling coach and former state champion who made headlines for becoming the NCAA’s first openly gay college wrestler is facing child pornography charges.
The U.S. attorney’s office announced Wednesday it has charged Alec Donovan with receipt and distribution of child pornography. The 24-year-old Brick resident made an initial court appearance by videoconference and was released on $100,000 bond.
Prosecutors allege that during the first four months of 2021, Donovan used a web-based messaging application to send three videos and receive two videos containing images of child sexual abuse involving pre-pubescent children.
They also allege he used the application to request nude photographs from minors and send them nude images.
Receiving and distributing child pornography carries a mandatory minimum five-year prison sentence, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
A message was left Wednesday with an attorney representing Donovan and a text message was left with a cell phone listed under Donovan’s name. A person answering the phone at the family’s home Wednesday evening hung up.
In an emailed statement Wednesday, the head of the FBI’s Newark division asked the public to contact the FBI with additional information.
“We are asking for the public’s attention with respect to this case, not just as a cautionary tale, but because we think it’s possible that our list of victims is incomplete,” Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. wrote.
Donovan, a former New Jersey state high school wrestling champion, was the subject of a story on Outsports.com in 2015 after he publicly acknowledged he was gay while on a college recruiting trip.
A 2017 story in the NCAA-published Champion magazine detailed Donovan’s struggles with depression in high school and his efforts to counsel other gay wrestlers.