The mother of two young girls who complained about their Sydney swim instructor touching them inappropriately, sparking a police investigation, has said she initially thought the alleged assaults could have been accidental.
The sisters’ pre-recorded evidence was played in the NSW district court in Sydney on Tuesday before their mother testified that her youngest daughter described the alleged attack as being like a “worm inside of her”.
“She said she squeezed her legs together for the rest of the lesson so it couldn’t happen again,” the mother said.
Kyle James Henk Daniels, 22, has pleaded not guilty to 26 charges, including multiple counts of having sexual intercourse with a child under 10 and indecently assaulting a person under 16.
He is accused of touching nine of his students aged between five and 10 on or near their genitals while instructing them between February 2018 and February 2019 at a Mosman pool on Sydney’s north shore.
In a police interview last year, the youngest daughter said she was lying on her back in the water using a kickboard to stay afloat, with her legs slightly apart, when her teacher pushed her private parts “very hard and it hurt”.
She said something felt wrong so she inspected the area. After pulling her swimming costume out she felt a lot better, the alleged victim told police. When asked what it felt like she responded: “A little bit sore and a little bit like a worm was in it.”
Straight after the incident she approached her mother and told her there was something private she wanted to tell her alone, the court heard on Tuesday.
Her mother asked her to wait until they left the swimming centre, she told the police in her interview. “So I hold it in my head and then I got a chance to tell her … near when it was at dinner time”.
The girl’s complaint is one of several charges Daniels faces of having sexual intercourse with a child under 10.
The jury heard on Monday that her older sister alleged Daniels touched her inappropriately twice, in the same pool, about two weeks earlier.
The older sister wrote a note immediately after which stated: “The reason I didn’t like my swimming lesson was because my teacher touched my …” She later explained the missing word was “vagina”, the court heard.
The girls’ mother told the court she asked her older daughter whether she thought it was deliberate, to which she replied: “I could understand if it was an accident if it happened once but why would he do it again?”
After her second daughter complained about Daniels, the parents informed the swim school, with the mother stating she had initially “assumed it had been an accident”.
“But now this had happened, that’s why I was mentioning it,” she told the jury on Tuesday. She said she never saw her daughters discuss the separate incidents and both girls said they were too embarrassed to tell their siblings.
The parents’ formal complaint to the swimming centre sparked the police investigation that led to similar allegations being made. The jury trial, before judge Kara Shead, continues.