After hung juries in two trials, Minnesota authorities have dropped charges against former swim coach Alfred O’Neill. O’Neill remains banned by the U.S. Center for SafeSport.
O’Neill (noted in some reports as Alfred John O’Neill) was accused of inappropriate 1980s sexual conduct with a former swimmer. The woman said she started swimming for O’Neill as a 14-year-old, and that he began a sexual relationship with her while she was still 17. O’Neill admitted to having sexual contact with the swimmer, but said he only had sex with her after she had turned 18. Another victim came forward later on with allegations that O’Neill had engaged in a sexualized relationship with her when she was a minor in the late 1990s.
Now, Minnesota’s local CBS affiliate reports that the Dakota County Attorney’s Office has decided not to pursue the criminal sexual conduct charges from the 1980s. WCCO reports that two trials have ended in hung juries, leading prosecutors to drop the charges. The first was in April of 2019 and the most recent this month in November of 2019.
The 63-year-old O’Neill remains banned by the U.S. Center for SafeSport. The Center has its own investigative process, and can ban coaches even if official legal charges are dropped. O’Neill’s entry into the SafeSport database remains under the “ineligible” tag, meaning his appeal window with that governing body could still remain open.