Registered sex offender opens cheerleading gym on Outer Loop
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A month after pleading guilty to three counts of sex abuse, Demont O'Neal opened his own gym.
O'Neal, who worked as a cheerleading coach at Seneca High School and a security monitor at Minor Daniels Academy, abused a 17-year-old, according to the Kentucky Sex Offender Registry. He was conditionally discharged for two years and required to register as a sex offender for the next twenty years.
"It only takes one incident to change your life," he said.
Documents obtained by WDRB News say before the 2016-17 school year, a student cheerleader claimed O'Neal sexually abused her. O'Neal said he can't talk specifics about the case.
A month after his sentencing this year, he opened Outkast Elite on Outer Loop, which trains dozens of cheerleaders.
"I love doing this," he said. "I love working with kids. I love helping kids reach their goals.
"I honestly will say that for people that don't know me, it's kind of like you may worry, but I'm really simple. I'm open-door."
He said he's open about his past and anyone with questions or concerns can contact him.
"The waiver is very simple, and it's to protect the gym itself," O'Neal said. "And it also has a statement on there that I am on the sex offender registry. I want to be blunt about that to people. I don't want any surprises. Everyone who walks in the door, I explain it to them. I am on it. That gives them the option to let me coach them."
Sex offenders can't live within 1,000 feet of schools, registered day cares and playgrounds, but that doesn't extend into "occupations or opening of a private business," according to Sgt. Josh Lawson with Kentucky State Police.
Viewers contacted WDRB News concerned that's he's working with kids, but police said it's legal for him to do so.
"I would call it a lack of legislation in this realm that does allow him to have direct contact with juveniles, unfortunately," Lawson said. "However, those are the laws that we have at this time."
Pamela White, a parent of a cheerleader at the gym, said O'Neal is a "good man and a great coach."
"He has coached my daughter since she was a toddler," she said. "He has positively impacted more young people's lives in this town than anyone else I know. We are all aware of what he was accused of. He was open and honest with everyone. Most of us knew him before the allegations surfaced. He has never been inappropriate in any way, at any time, with any child in the countless hours I have been in his gym."
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