Former MN Youth Coach Banned, Accused of 1980s Sex Crimes

A former swim coach in Minnesota has been banned by SafeSport and charged with criminal sexual conduct for improprieties one of his former swimmers says happened in the late 1980s.

Alfred John O’Neill of Savage, MN had a court hearing this week. The former swimmer called police in June and said she was sexually abused multiple times by her swim coach while she was under 18, according to the local NBC affiliate. The woman says she started swimming for O’Neill as a 14-year-old, and that he “treated her as a favorite” (per KARE11) and eventually started engaging in sexual contact with her when she was still 17. She says the abuse occurred during the years 1988 and 1989.

O’Neill admitted to having sexual contact with the swimmer, but said he only had sex with her after she had turned 18.

O’Neill’s name already appears in the SafeSport database, where he’s listed as “ineligible.” The U.S. Center for SafeSport told SwimSwam this week that the “ineligible” tag (as opposed to “permanently ineligible”) means that the coach is ineligible during the five-day appeal process. O’Neill was added to the list on Thursday.

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Any news on Bob Bowman’s situation? Has ASU and USA Swimming just kept quiet and hope everyone forgets about it?
Sounds like ASU President Crowe was all talk and when it came down to backing his words, crawled into a corner.


Sadly, I think we’ll see that more people will come forward with allegations of past abuse. Victims who grew up swimming in the 70’s and 80’s are only in their mid 50’s at the oldest, and many of their coaches are still alive.


Not sadly, its a good thing everytime someone finds the Courage to come forward

Former Coach

This is about Rocky O’Neill, NOT Bob Bowman! There will be more women coming forward in the next few days. I’m sad and sickened by this, as I’ve known, and kept quiet about it for years, myself, and so many other coaches. No longer!! He’s going to get what’s coming to him! It’s long overdue!

Current Swim Parent

You have to have a lot of evidence to prove this. Are you ok to be a witness and sustain your comments in front of a judge?


I don’t know anything about the situation, but whenever I read a comment where a person says he or she has known about this, I want to give a friendly reminder that if you know of any abuse, you need to report it- And if the abuse is current, call the police.

This comment is important, and thanks for leaving it. Depending on your job, and your state, you may be committing a crime by not reporting – if the moral obligation isn’t enough to drive you to do the right thing.


For those that think this was an isolated incident are blind. I guarantee without a shadow of a doubt there are many more women who will come forward after seeing the article air. I as well kept quiet with being taken advantage of and will not anymore. For those that think just because it happened 30 years ago it should not be punished wrong. People like that do not change and if it happened 30 years ago, 20 years ago, or 10 years ago, it is still happening. About time someone stood up for themselves and all the other potential victims. He needs to be stopped.

SwimSwam Reader

I appeal to people to simmer down their emotions and wait for the legal process to end. If you are not close to the case, stop being paranoid and stick to facts. And be ready to apologize when the truth comes to light.


he is not who you think he is. I was also a victim and he is sick.


There are over 65 people that knew them as a couple and that they remained friends for many years with no incidents, after they split. This sounds like a personal vendetta against a coach who worked with integrity for over 30 years with a clean sheet.


Will you listen to yourself? Personal vendetta? If someone mugs you getting out of your car in your driveway and you call the cops, is that a ‘personal vendetta’ against the person that mugged you? I guess so. But to use the phrase ‘personal vendetta’ as though it’s dismissive of the responsibility of someone who perpetrated a crime against you sounds really silly to me.


I am only stating my point of view. The police report states that an anonymous call to Safesport triggered all this. The alleged victim never called police first. Now, the coach has been accused. You are already declaring him guilty. Interesting. Your intolerance is sad.


Annonymous I pray that you will have the strength to come forward and tell your story…I am aware of the rumors about this coach that have circulated for years and am sickened by it…if there is evidence that this occurred, the courts must hear it and he must be held accountable…

old swimmer

Please come forward with your story. It took a huge amount of courage for the first victim. You will feel better and think of the young women swimmers that need our generation to come forward. I swam for Rocky and I know the victim. She has support in her old teammates and you will too.

SwimSwam Reader/Snowflake/Pool Manager/Current Swim Parent (which are all the same person) – you have been blocked from commenting for several violations of SwimSwam’s commenting guidelines, including using multiple usernames in the same thread to try and sway opinion, making personal attacks, and direct and overt victim-shaming.

Have a nice day.

Former swim parent

You are so wrong. Rocky is a wonderful coach and a good person who has done nothing wrong.

Swim Family

not so many people came forward

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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