A former Sydney swimming teacher was “in shock” when he was told complaints had been made against him by students who claimed he “touched them” in ways they did not like, a court has been told.
Kyle James Henk Daniels is facing trial over 21 charges relating to sexually touching nine young girls he taught at the Mosman Swim Centre on Sydney’s lower north shore between 2018 and 2019.
He has pleaded not guilty to five counts of sexual intercourse with a child aged under 10, eight counts of sexual touching of a child and eight counts of indecent assault, including two considered alternative charges.
Mr Daniels is accused of touching the girls – who were under 10 years of age at the time – both on top and underneath their swimming costumes and sexually penetrating girls with his finger on five occasions.
The now-23-year-old had been working part-time as an instructor while attending university.
On Wednesday, the court was told Mr Daniels had a meeting with supervisors in August 2018 after a parent raised an issue with venue staff about him.
“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 mother of the girl told the court she had approached a supervisor at the swim school after her daughter told her about the incident.
She told the court her daughter had told her she wasn’t comfortable with “how her teacher held her”.
The girl, who was seven at the time of the alleged offending, said she “didn’t like” the way she was being held and that she had felt “uncomfortable”, the court was told.
A supervisor who worked at the swim centre at the time of the complaint told the court the mother approached him and made him aware of what had allegedly happened.
“She didn’t want to make a big fuss at the time, she didn’t want to get Kyle in trouble … she was just putting up a red flag, saying to me I could suggest Kyle hold her differently,” he told the court.
He said he reported the matter to his supervisor immediately and began monitoring the young swim teacher.
“Kyle was doing what most instructors do with beginners, he was trying to have fun with them, there was nothing suspicious at all,” the supervisor said.
Mr Daniels was then called into a meeting with both supervisors, the court was told.
During the meeting, he was told he was “a little too hands on with his approach” and was “borderline having too much fun”.
He was also told about the complaint, with the supervisor telling the court Mr Daniels didn’t respond and was “quite shocked”.
“We told him to avoid touching the children on the torso … if you can touch the arms or legs it’s probably better, it’s very technical; you sometimes need to hold them in position to do the activity,” he said.
The court heard Mr Daniels was told to “change his behaviour and hold the children appropriately”.
Following the meeting, the managers also determined it was important that “nobody else knows about the allegations to prevent rumours” the court was told.
Mr Daniels was arrested on March, 12, 2019.
Following his arrest, police appealed for further information from parents associated with the swim school and received complaints from other alleged victims.
The trial before Judge Kara Shead continues.