Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Alfred John O’Neill, age 61, of Savage, has been charged* with one count of Criminal Sexual Conduct in the 3rd Degree (a felony) in connection with an alleged sexual relationship he had in 1988-1989 with a minor girl he was coaching at the time at the Burnsville Swim Club.
The facts alleged in the criminal complaint include:
On June 4, 2018, a woman contacted the Burnsville Police Department to report that during the timeframe of 1988 - 1989 she had been sexually abused on multiple occasions by her former swimming coach who she identified as Alfred O’Neill. The victim explained that her willingness to report this sexual abuse followed a recent contact she had with an individual from Safe Sport – a non-profit organization charged with investigating and responding to reports of sexual misconduct within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movements.
The victim explained that she first met O’Neill at age 14 when she began swimming for the Burnsville Swim Club. She told police that O’Neill treated her as a favorite and increased alone time with her when she was 16, and by the time she was 17 years old he had started engaging in sexual contact with her.
When questioned by police, O’Neill admitted that he had sexual contact with the victim, but stated that it had occurred after she had reached the age of 18.
Any criminal complaints alleging charges of criminal sexual conduct or child pornography are not available in Criminal Complaint Search. A complaint not available on this website may be obtained from the Dakota County Court Administrator’s Office by contacting 651-438-8100.
If in custody, mug shots can be viewed at: Inmate Search.
O’Neill was arrested on September 12, 2018, and will make his first court appearance on this charge today at 11:00 a.m. in Hastings.
Backstrom commented: "A student athlete can easily be manipulated into a sexual relationship by a coach whom the student trusts, and such relationships can have long-term negative impacts upon the victim. I wish to commend this victim’s courage in coming forward many years after this alleged crime occurred."
Backstrom thanked the Burnsville Police Department for investigation in this case.
If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4440.
*Criminal charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant/suspect is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.