A former Sydney swimming instructor was told to “change his behaviour” following a report he had touched one of his underage students inappropriately.
Kyle Daniels is facing 21 charges relating to sexually touching nine young girls who he taught at the Mosman Swim Centre on Sydney’s lower North Shore between 2018 and 2019.
In a trial which began on Monday, the court heard Mr Daniels had allegedly touched the girls – who were under 10 years of age at the time – both on top and underneath their swimming costumes and on five occasions had sexually penetrated them with his finger.
Mr Daniels, who is now 23, had been working part time as an instructor at the swim school while also attending university.
“The crown’s case is that the accused has a sexual interest in young girls and that he acted on that,” Crown prosecutor Tony McCarthy said.
The court heard a parent had first raised an issue with venue staff about Mr Daniels’ questionable behaviour around the end of July 2018.
At that time, the parent approached venue staff following a complaint by their daughter, Mr McCarthy said during his opening statement to the jury.
“I’m not accusing him of anything, I just wanted to raise some red flags,” the parent was quoted as saying.
“I don’t want him to lose his job over this. I don’t know if it was accidental.”
The court heard one of the pool’s managers had replied “thanks for letting us know”.
Following a meeting to discuss the allegations, the managers also determined it was important that “nobody else knows about the allegations to prevent rumours” the court heard.
Mr Daniels was then observed by venue managers while he taught one of his swimming classes and found to be “too hands on, too close-contact” and “appeared overly energetic and frantic with the children”.
The court heard Mr Daniels was approached and told to change his behaviour and to only hold the children “appropriately”.
He was reportedly told by venue management “hips, legs and arms are ok but that’s it”.
Pool management noted that after the discussion, Mr Daniels was seen to tone down his teaching style and stopped “splashing and throwing the children in the pool”.
Several months later, venue staff were alerted to another alleged victim who was seen to become hesitant with Mr Daniels despite generally being enthusiastic about her teachers.
She later wrote a note on a piece of paper which read, “the reason I didn’t like my swimming lesson was because my teacher touched my (blank)”.
The sister of that alleged victim would later reveal Mr Daniels had put his finger inside her, an offence which carries the charge of sexual intercourse with a minor, Mr McCarthy told the jury.
She told her parents it had “felt like a worm when he did it” and that she had “squeezed her legs together for the rest of the lesson so he couldn’t do it again,” Mr McCarthy told the jury.
The court heard the victim later told police she thought Mr Daniels had “just done that on accident, because why would anyone do it on purpose”.
Mr Daniels was arrested on 12 March, 2019 and taken to Manly Police Station.
Following his arrest, police appealed for further information from parents associated with the swim school and received complaints from other alleged victims.
The trial at Sydney’s Downing Centre is expected to run from between six to eight weeks.