McCarthy said that in mid-2018 a mother of one of the girls told a staff member “Kyle has touched my daughter between this region” and motioned between her chest and upper legs.
He said the woman said words to the effect, “I just want to put a red flag up to bring it to your attention, I don’t want him to lose his job over this”, and, “I don’t know if it was accidental”.
The girl allegedly told her mother that she “squeezed her legs and bottom together tightly for the rest of the lesson, so he couldn’t do it again”.
McCarthy said at Daniels’ next shift, before the accused was told of the allegation, he was observed by the staff member to be “too hands-on” and his coaching style too close contact.
He said Daniels was told about the parent’s allegation of touching and “appeared shocked and remained quiet”. He allegedly said, “I don’t think I have, if I have, it could have been an accident”.
McCarthy expects the jury will hear evidence a memo was sent to staff about not holding children close to the groin or chest and Daniels returned a signed copy. McCarthy said the complaint was not reported to the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) as the parents left it to the discretion of the swim school and “it’s fair to say, they were not insisting” on a report being made.
In early 2019, two sisters attended their first swimming lessons at the centre.
“Both of their lessons were with the accused,” McCarthy said.
He expects their father to give evidence his eldest appeared to be “reluctant” to thank Daniels, and “that was somewhat unusual because [she was] normally very enthusiastic about her teachers”.
The jury is expected to hear evidence the girl later handed her mother a note that read, “the reason I don’t like my swimming teacher… is that he touched my”, followed by a space. McCarthy said the woman will testify her daughter of her said the teacher touched her private parts of her and pointed to her front of her.
The same month, her younger sister allegedly disclosed that Daniels had “touched her on the vagina” while she was doing backstroke and it “felt like a worm when he did it”.
The girl allegedly told her mother that she “squeezed her legs and bottom together tightly for the rest of the lesson, so he couldn’t do it again”, and later told police “she put her legs together, she did not want it to happen again”.
McCarthy said the matter was reported to the swim center, which notified FACS and police became involved, interviewing the sisters.
Daniels’ arrest in March 2019 was the subject of media publicity and information was received about allegations relating to other children, the prosecutor said.
The jury was told the evidence and cross-examination of the nine girls had been pre-recorded.
The Crown’s address summarizes on Tuesday ahead of Daniels’ barrister Leslie Nicholls opening the defense case. The trial before Judge Kara Shead, expected to run for six to eight weeks, continues.
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