Seven-year-old girl's note about swim teacher revealed in court

Australian Associated Press
·2-min read

An "overly energetic" swimming teacher sexually touched nine of his young students at a Sydney swim school, his trial has been told.

Kyle James Henk Daniels, 22, has pleaded not guilty before a jury to 26 charges, including nine counts of having sexual intercourse with a child under 10.

In the opening address to the District Court on Monday, the Crown argued Daniels touched several of his students on or near their genitals while he was their coach between February 2018 and February 2019 at Mosman Swim Centre.

In July 2018, a concerned parent approached staff saying their daughter had complained about her instructor touching below her chest and upper legs during a lesson.

Photo shows Kyle James Henk Daniels.
Kyle James Henk Daniels is being accused of sexually assaulting young girls while giving swimming lessons. Source: AAP

Daniels' next class was observed without telling him why, and his superiors noted his "hands on" approach, that his coaching style was too close contact and that he appeared "overly energetic" and "too friendly with children in his class".

A memo was sent to all staff instructing teachers not to hold children close to the groin and chest area, and to always have their hands above water and appropriately positioned on the body.

Daniels along with other colleagues signed the letter of notification and he returned it on August 2018.

But in February 2019, a seven-year-old girl wrote a note to her mother saying she felt uncomfortable during a lesson after Daniels "held her between the legs and moved his fingers'" while giving instructions in the deep end of the pool.

She asked her mother if she could change swimming classes and internal management were notified of the parent's concern.

Photo shows Kyle James Henk Daniels.
Young girls described feeling uncomfortable after taking lessons, court herd. Source: AAP

The Crown showed the jury a sentence scrawled on a pink piece of paper which reads: "The reason I didn't like my swimming lesson was because my teacher touched my (vagina)".

A police investigation was launched and Daniels' was arrested in March 2019. After the case was publicised, six more girls came forward and raised similar incidents.

Some could not name Daniels, but described his blond hair and glasses, the only teacher permitted to wear glasses in the pool.

The jury heard one girl recall she was "thrilled to be moving up a class so she couldn't be touched on her private parts anymore".

The trial continues before Judge Kara Shead.

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