As his client’s case draws to a conclusion, the former swimming coach’s attorney has refuted the accusations, arguing that the instructor had no way of knowing how the kids would respond in such a public setting.
In Sydney’s lower north shore neighborhood of Mosman, Kyle James Henk Daniels, 23, is on trial for 21 offenses related to the alleged sexual molestation of nine youngsters, ages five to ten, who he allegedly taught to swim.
He entered a not-guilty plea to the accusations.
Leslie Nicholls, the attorney for Mr. Daniels, said in his closing arguments on Thursday that several of the 23-year-putative old’s victims claimed the charges occurred soon after they began taking classes from him.
No child would have any way of knowing how a student would physically respond to contact outside of the usual directions, especially when that student was attending the class for the first time, Mr. Nicholls told the jury.
He said that after the alleged assault occurred, the kids who had accused Mr. Daniels of improper touching “continued swimming.”
The parents could have been standing a few meters away when the alleged touching took place, Mr. Nicholls told the court.
Additionally, he pointed out that the pool was surrounded by swimming supervisors and CCTV, which would have posed a “possible danger of discovery.”
The Crown wants to suggest to Mr. Daniels that this is the ideal occasion for him to touch her in her vagina for the first time, he said.
“It defies logic,” one person said.
The defense attorney said that neither Mr. Daniels nor the kids had mentioned any of the alleged mistreatment.
Mr. Nicholls said, “There was absolutely no evidence that he was ever aware of having engaged in any improper touching.”
There was no proof that any of these incidents caused him to become sexually aroused.
“This guy is meant to be a sexual predator of young children, with a sexual interest in young girls, and he does not interact with them in any manner in the context of “don’t tell mom what I just did,” “did you enjoy that,” or “would you want me to do it again?”
The court heard that Mr. Daniels never attempted to interact with the kids outside of swimming classes or set up one-on-one coaching sessions with them.
Mr. Nicholls brought up a note the accused made to a police officer who “treated him like a person” following his arrest while talking about Mr. Daniels’ character.
Before being freed on bond after spending a week in detention, the 23-year-old was grateful to one officer who treated him with respect.
In accordance with the terms of his bond, Mr. Daniels presented the card when reporting to the police station.
After his detention, Mr. Daniels claimed in court that he overheard other police officers calling him a “disgusting paedo.”
Mr. Nicholls made reference to a child who, while he avoided identifying her, informed her mother she didn’t like the way her instructor held her after they reportedly pushed their forearm between her legs to support her above the water.
While Mr. Daniels was typically her instructor, the child said that a new teacher, not the accused, was to blame, according to him.
“The situation she was describing was the lesson she received on one day,” he said. “We know from the records he was not the teacher for that specific class.” Normally, Mr. Daniels would have been her instructor that day.
How did that turn into a complaint, because the mother was unaware of that?
Because she knew he had been her usual teacher up until that point, the mother assumed it was about Mr. Daniels.
Eight charges of sexually touching a child and eight counts of indecent assault have been brought against Mr. Daniels in connection with five allegations of sexual activity with a child under the age of 10.
His defense has maintained that he didn’t deliberately or knowingly touch the kids in a sexual or immoral way.
The 23-year-old categorically rejects the accusations.
The trial goes on.