A former Sydney swimming instructor was told to “change his behaviour” after being reported to have inappropriately touched one of his underage students.
Kyle Daniels is on trial on 21 charges related to sexually touching nine young girls he taught at the Mosman Swim Center on Sydney’s lower north coast between 2018 and 2019.
In a trial that began Monday, the court heard Daniels allegedly touched the girls — who were not yet 10 years old at the time — above and below their swimsuits and sexually penetrated five times with his finger.
Mr Daniels, who is now 23, worked part-time as an instructor at the swim school while also attending college.
“The matter of the crown is that the accused had a sexual interest in young girls and acted accordingly,” Crown Prosecutor Tony McCarthy said.
The court heard that in late July 2018, a parent first raised an issue with the venue staff over Mr Daniels’ questionable behavior.
At that point, the parent approached the site’s staff following a complaint from 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,” said the parent.
“I don’t want him to lose his job because of this. I don’t know if it was by accident.”
The court heard that one of the pool managers replied with “thanks for letting me know”.
After a meeting to discuss the allegations, the managers also determined it was important that “no one else knows about the allegations in order to avoid rumours,” the court heard.
Mr Daniels was then observed by site managers while teaching one of his swimming lessons and found that he was “too hands-on, too close contact” and “seemed overly energetic and frantic with the kids”.
The court heard that Mr Daniels was approached and told to change his behavior and only keep the children “properly”.
The venue’s management has reportedly told him that “hips, legs and arms are fine, but that’s all”.
Pool management noted that after the discussion, Mr. Daniels toned down his teaching style and stopped “splashing and throwing the kids in the pool”.
Several months later, site staff were alerted to another alleged victim who became hesitant towards Mr. Daniels, despite generally being enthusiastic about her teachers.
She later wrote a note on a piece of paper that read, “the reason I didn’t like my swimming lesson was because my teacher touched my (blank)”.
That alleged victim’s sister would later reveal that Daniels stuck his finger in her, a crime charged with sexual intercourse with a minor, McCarthy told the jury.
She told her parents it “felt like a worm when he did it” and that she “pressed her legs together for the rest of the class so he couldn’t do it again,” Mr McCarthy told the jury. .
The court heard the victim later told police that she thought Daniels “just did that by accident because why would someone do it on purpose”.
Mr Daniels was arrested on March 12, 2019 and taken to Manly Police Station.
After his arrest, police appealed to parents associated with the swim school and received complaints from other alleged victims.
The trial at the Downing Center in Sydney is expected to last six to eight weeks.