Australia

Girl too ‘scared’ to reveal coach’s abuse: court

A young girl has said she initially denied being sexually touched by her former swimming coach when first asked by her parents because she “didn’t like saying stuff about it”.She is one of nine girls police allege Kyle Daniels sexually assaulted during lessons at the Mosman Swim Centre in 2018 and 2019.His District Court trial…

A young girl has said she initially denied being sexually touched by her former swimming coach when first asked by her parents because she “didn’t like saying stuff about it”.

She is one of nine girls police allege Kyle Daniels sexually assaulted during lessons at the Mosman Swim Centre in 2018 and 2019.

His District Court trial has heard the girl, who was about seven at the time of the alleged abuse in 2018, was “shocked” when allegedly touched “on her privates” by Mr Daniels, who put his fingers inside her swimmers.

She did not disclose the allegations to her parents until they began questioning her in March 2019 – several months after her lessons with Mr Daniels at Mosman finished – when he was charged by police.

“I was sort of scared, in a way,” she said in pre-recorded evidence when asked why she did not speak up sooner.

Mr Daniels, 22, has pleaded not guilty to all 26 charges before the court, including several counts of sexual intercourse with a child under 10.

The girls were aged between five and 11 at the time of the alleged offences.

On Friday the ninth complainant’s mother, who cannot be named, told the court she was sent a link to a news story by her husband last March that broke details of an instructor from the swim centre being arrested.

It had scant details and offered a blurred photo of the young man who had been charged, she said.

Later that day, after scouring the net for information, she found another article that named and pictured the man as Kyle Daniels – whom she had met and watched coach her daughter.

“He’d been the instructor for (the daughter),” she told the court.

“There was a reference to accusations being made by young girls and they were around the age of my daughter.”

The mother said she left work to speak with her daughter, who was at home, referencing Healthy Harold and the things she had learned at school about her body and privacy.

“Do you understand your body is your own and you can always say something if it makes you uncomfortable?” the mother said she asked the girl.

She said her daughter was “exceedingly brief” in her answers and was “hunched in on herself” but denied she had been touched.

However, on April 6, 2019, the woman said she received a phone call from her “very upset” husband telling her their daughter had claimed “something had happened with the swimming teacher”.

When they returned home the girl was “visibly upset and crying” and went into her bedroom with her mum, where the child demonstrated how and where the swimming instructor allegedly toucher her.

The mother said the girl made a “C-shape” with both hands, her thumbs behind her back and fingers pointed toward her groin, saying it had happened when Mr Daniels was lifting up her bottom during a breaststroke kicking exercise.

“Her groin, her private parts … that’s what she was touching,” she said.

The trial continues.

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