EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (KMSP) - A Twin Cities figure skating coach has been charged with sexually abusing with one of his young skaters for more than two years, often while they were out of town on training trips.
Thomas Incantalupo, 47, is a former elite figure skater and was listed as a coach with the Eden Prairie Figure Skating Club until shortly after the charges were filed Thursday afternoon. He faces five counts of criminal sexual conduct.
“As a father and a former coach of young women, this conduct, if proven in court, deserves the severest penalty possible,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement. “The trust this young girl, and her parents, put in Mr. Incantalupo was abused and that should never have happened. We will be filing for aggravated circumstances which will allow a judge to hand down a higher sentence if he is convicted.”
According to the charges, he began coaching the victim, now 16, when she was nine years old, but did not begin sexually abusing her until they were away on a trip to Connecticut for training in August 2015 – when she was 14.
The two were staying in separate bedrooms at the home of another figure skating coach. One night, when the victim was sleeping, Incantalupo came into her room and began touching her inappropriately. The victim told authorities she pretended to be asleep so Incantalupo would go away, but he did not. He forced her to give him oral sex and afterwards told her she could not tell anyone.
Between April 2016 and March 2017, Incantalupo took the victim to Argentina several times for various figure skating-related events. During these trips, the two stayed together and Incantalupo allegedly sexual assaulted her dozens of times.
During one trip, Incantalupo became concerned the victim had become pregnant, so he took her to a clinic where they gave her a pill, which gave her severe stomach cramps. Afterwards, he told the victim “she was the love of his life and he wants to move with her to Argentina when she turns 18 and buy a house for them,” according to the charges.
The victim told authorities “at this point she had learned how to get the thoughts of the abuse out of her head and pretend that these things were not happening to her,” the charges say.
Starting in September 2017, Incantalupo began taking the victim to hotels in Eden Prairie to have sex. He would tell her parents they were going to have a longer training session that day and after going to the hotel, he would bring her back to the skating rink so her parents could pick her up.
Investigators later confirmed he had checked into the hotel on several dates under his own name.
The last instance of sexual abuse occurred in December while he and the victim were in Chicago for training.
The victim’s parents first learned of the sexual abuse in January and alerted authorities.
On Jan. 9, Incantalupo texted the victim’s mother asking to take the victim to lunch. Equipped with a recording device and under the supervision of police, the victim met the coach at the skating rink, where she told him that she no longer wanted a romantic relationship with him.
Incantalupo told the victim she was "the love of his life and that he would do anything for her." He said he said he knew their relationship was wrong and that he could go to jail for it.
Incantalupo was arrested shortly after the conversation. He is currently in custody at the Hennepin County Jail on five charges of criminal sexual conduct.
The Eden Prairie Figure Skating Club released the following statement:
"This case remains an open investigation; however, at this time the Eden Prairie Police Department does not know of any additional victims. If additional victims are identified, the Eden Prairie Police Department will aggressively investigate those cases in the same manner this investigation is being handled."
Statement from U.S. Figure Skating Spokesperson Barbara Reichert:
"After being informed today of the arrest of Thomas Joseph Incantalupo, the U.S. Figure Skating Grievance Committee is taking steps to immediately suspend Incantalupo's U.S. Figure Skating membership. U.S. Figure Skating will work with law enforcement and the U.S. Center For SafeSport to follow up on this matter. U.S. Figure Skating does not tolerate or condone any form of misconduct and remains vigilant in the area of SafeSport."