Thursday 24 May 2018

Irish tennis coach charged with soliciting sex from 'teen'

'The charges were a result of an online investigation where O'Neill was in communication with an agent posing as a minor online over the course of three months' (stock photo)
'The charges were a result of an online investigation where O'Neill was in communication with an agent posing as a minor online over the course of three months' (stock photo)

Sasha Brady

A 36-year-old Irish tennis coach living in the US has been charged after he allegedly attempted to solicit sex from an underage girl.

Mark O'Neill (36), from Dublin, was arrested after attempting to meet an undercover police officer who had been posing online as a 14-year-old girl.

O'Neill was a top-ranked junior tennis player before moving to the US. He had been employed as a coach to junior players at Hillcrest Racquet Club in Reading, Pennsylvania.

In March, charges were brought against him for unlawful contact with a minor, attempted statutory sexual assault, and criminal use of a communication facility.

The charges were a result of an online investigation where O'Neill was in communication with an agent posing as a minor online over the course of three months. After it was made apparent she was a 14-year-old, O'Neill allegedly solicited the 'girl' for sexual contact. On March 24, O'Neill made plans to meet the 'girl' and was spotted at the meeting place and agents took him into custody. His bail was set at $500,000 (€412,000).

Irish Independent

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