Charges: Tom Incantalupo, Twin Cities figure skating coach, abused 'star student'

Steve Rice, Star Tribune

Steve Rice, Star Tribune

Tom Incantalupo, a prominent Twin Cities figure skating coach, faces five felony charges for the sexual abuse of a minor he coached.

Charges against Incantalupo, 47, were issued by Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman Thursday afternoon, with the prosecutor saying if proven guilty, Incantalupo deserves the "severest penalty possible." 

Said Freeman: "The trust this young girl, and her parents, put in Mr. Incantalupo was abused and that should never have happened."

The investigation into Incantalupo was a swift one: Police in Eden Prairie and Maple Grove only became aware of the alleged sexual abuse earlier this month. According to the criminal complaint, Incantalupo had engaged in a sexual relationship with a skater who "travels nationally and internationally for competitions and training," often doing so while only accompanied by Incantalupo.

He started coaching the skater when she was nine years old; prosecutors allege the abuse began when she was 14, and continued through December of last year. 

Incantalupo first molested his skater in April 2015, the complaint alleges, sneaking into her room as she slept while the two were in Connecticut for a training camp. Incantalupo groped the victim, who pretended to sleep, hoping he would stop. Instead he placed his hands on her head and forced her to give him oral sex, telling her when it was over "that she could not tell anyone."

More than a year passed before the next incident, when Incantalupo and the victim took a trip to Argentina for a skating seminar. There, the coach kissed his then-15-year-old student, performed oral sex on her, and "engaged in ... sexual penatration more than a dozen times." Later that year, the two were again in Argentina for an event, when Incantalupo forced sex on the victim five more times. 

After one such instance, he allegedly drove her to a clinic and obtained a morning-after birth control pill. Incantalupo allegedly told the victim, still 15, she was the "love of his life," and that the two of them should move to Argentina after she turned 18. 

In yet another trip to Argentina the following year, Incantalupo raped his underage charge "more than a dozen times," according to the complaint, which notes the coach "no longer wore a condom" during the encounters. Incantalupo also preyed upon his victim during another trip to Connecticut in 2017, and, in fall of last year, began taking her to a hotel in Eden Prairie. 

From the complaint: 

"This began in September 2017. On September 28, 2017, [Incantalupo] took [the victim] to a hotel and checked in. [Incantalupo] had told [the victim's] parents that they were going to have a longer training session that day. On this date, [Incantalupo] put his penis into [the victim's] anus. [The victim] told [Incantalupo] that she did not like that, but [Incantalupo] continued anyways. [Incantalupo] brought [the victim] back to the skating rink after so that she could be picked up by her parents. "

Incantalupo allegedly anally penetrated his victim on repeat occasions after this; hotel records found by police prove he checked-in to the same place on multiple occasions in late 2017.

Early this year, Incantalupo's skater told a friend what had been happening, and later, her parents learned of the abuse, and told local police. Just two days ago, she met Incantalupo while wearing a wire, according to the complaint.

In a recorded conversation, Incantalupo repeated that his student, now 16, is "the love of his life," and said he would agree to stop making the hotel visits, because their relationship was not strictly physical. "[Incantalupo] stated that he knew their relationship was wrong, and he could go to jail for it," the complaint states.

Incantalupo faces one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, which comes with a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and/or a $40,000 fine; each of four charges of third-degree criminal sexual conduct carries a maximum sentence of 15 years and/or a $30,000 fine.

In his statement announcing charges, Freeman said his office will file "aggravating circumstances" which would allow a judge to give Incantalupo a harsher sentence, if convicted. Incantalupo is expected to make his first appearance in court tomorrow.