The lawyer for an ex-swimming instructor accused of sexually touching his young students has questioned why the girls did not respond physically to the alleged abuse.
Kyle James Henk Daniels, 24, is on trial for 21 offenses related to the alleged sexual touching of nine girls, aged between five and 10, whom he taught at the Mosman Swim Center on Sydney’s lower north coast.
Daniels has been charged with five counts of sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 10, eight counts of sexually touching a child and eight counts of indecent assault.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was joined by his parents and twin brother in court on Friday, which coincided with his birthday.
Daniels’ attorney Leslie Nicholls told the jury that many of the alleged victims said they “stayed” despite the accused just touching them inappropriately.
Kyle James Henk Daniels, 24, is on trial for 21 offenses related to the alleged sexual touching of nine girls, aged between five and 10, whom he taught at the Mosman Swim Center on Sydney’s lower north coast
The court had heard allegations from a seven-year-old girl who alleged that Daniels inserted four of his fingers “knuckle-knuckle” into her vagina through her swimsuit while using a kickboard on her back.
The girl had said that Mr. Daniels’ hand had felt like a ‘worm’ during the alleged touch.
“Mr Daniels is supposed to come over and put four of his fingers in her vagina up to his knuckles,” Nicholls said in his closing address before Sydney Downing Center Court on Friday.
“She keeps swimming, there’s no response, nothing. It’s impossible to imagine this happening to a consenting adult out there ready, willing and able to do it, let alone a seven-year-old in a costume.”
Nicholls said the girl’s legs were relatively straight at the time of the alleged touch, as she kicked her back with a kickboard on her knees.
The girl’s older sister had already told her mother that Mr. Daniels had allegedly touched her inappropriately.
The mother then said to the younger sibling before class, “If he touches you badly somewhere, please tell me,” the court heard.
Daniels’ attorney (center with his parents) Leslie Nicholls told the jury that many of the alleged victims said they “stayed” despite the accused just touching them inappropriately.
“Does the child expect something to happen in that context?” Mr Nicholls told the jury.
Referring to another allegation by Mr. Daniels that a girl touched her vagina on the outside of her swimmers while pushing her off to swim, Mr. Nicholls said the student’s father was less than three feet away at the time. .
He noted that the father had said he thought his daughter “made it up” initially.
“There was nothing (unusual) he saw at the time it would have happened,” Mr Nicholls said.
The lawyer also cited the allegation of a girl who had taken 12 lessons with Mr Daniels, claiming that he once touched her on her vagina among her swimmers.
Mr Nicholls wondered why if Mr Daniels, as the Crown suggests, had a sexual interest in the children, he would reportedly touch her inappropriately only once in all of their classes together.
He put forward the idea of whether the alleged victims’ parents had been influenced by media reports following Mr Daniels’ arrest in March 2019.
He said a father told his daughter about the accusations made by girls at the swim school and asked if anything had happened to her. She initially denied having anything.
“She had the feeling that no matter how many times she told her father that nothing happened while swimming, he wouldn’t accept it,” Nicholls said.
He said there may have been an “adoption” of the information given to the girls by their parents, who then passed it on as their own experiences.
Mr Daniels’ defense has argued that he did not knowingly or intentionally touch the children in a sexual or indecent manner
Mr Nicholls said some of the allegations were “incredible,” including of an eight-year-old girl who claimed that Mr Daniels inserted three or more of his fingers into her vagina several times per class, over several classes.
“How can the suspect insert a finger, let alone three while swimming, without any physical reaction or effect on her swimming?” he said.
Mr Nicholls will complete his closing entry next week. The jury is expected to begin deliberations on Tuesday.
Daniels’ defense has argued that he did not knowingly or intentionally touch the children in a sexual or indecent manner.
The 23-year-old vehemently denies all allegations.