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Jury acquits Sydney swimming teacher acquitted of nine of 21 sexual abuse charges

Jury acquits Sydney swimming teacher acquitted of nine of 21 sexual abuse charges
October 21, 2022

An 11-person NSW District Court jury has found Sydney swimming learn-to-swim teacher Kyle Daniels of nine of 21 sexual abuse charges that he had had been accused of - but remains split on others.

The jury yesterday found 24-year-old Daniels not guilty of five sexual abuse charges, before today finding the former Mosman swimming instructor not guilty of a further four charges of child sexual abuse after being instructed by a judge that they could deliver majority verdicts.

The accused had faced a 10-week trial in Sydney on 21 charges, being five counts of sexual intercourse with a child aged under 10 by digital penetration, eight counts of sexual touching of a child and eight counts of indecent assault, including two alternative charges.

The prosecution alleged Daniels has a sexual interest in young girls and acted on it by deliberately touching the vaginas of nine students, aged between five and 10, at Mosman Swim Centre in 2018 and 2019.

While, as of this afternoon, clearing Daniels of nine charges relating to four of the complainants, the jury will resume deliberations on Monday on the remaining 12 charges, relating to the other five girls.

The jury began deliberations on Tuesday afternoon and one of the 12 jurors was discharged on Thursday. Later in the day, the jury acquitted Daniels of three counts of sexual intercourse with a child aged under 10, one count of sexual touching and one alternative count of indecent assault.

On Friday afternoon, the jury returned not guilty verdicts on two counts of indecent assault, including the second alternative charge, and the remaining two counts of sexual intercourse with a child.

Earlier, Judge Kara Shead took evidence from the jury foreperson who indicated they did not believe that additional time, including a break over the weekend, would assist in reaching unanimous verdicts.

The foreperson advised “I don’t think there are opinions that will change."

The jurors were asked if any of them held a different view on this position, and the response was, “No.”

Judge Shead said circumstances had arisen in which she could take a majority verdict or verdicts on any of the remaining counts, where majority meant 10:1, if unanimous verdicts were “plainly impossible”.

She encouraged the jury to “calmly weigh up each other’s opinions” and re-examine the matters on which they had disagreed.

The Crown submitted at trial that the alleged conduct was for Daniels’ own sexual gratification and that his swimming classes provided him with opportunities to act on a sexual attraction.

It suggested that the significant commonality between the girls’ accounts showed the alleged events were no coincidence

Daniels pleaded not guilty to all charges with his defence arguing that he neither knowingly nor intentionally touched the girls in a sexual or indecent manner, and submitted that the evidence of the complainants had been contaminated.

Defence barrister Leslie Nicholls had asked the jury to consider the influence of the parents and media on a complaint being made, as many of the allegations arose after Daniels’ publicised arrest before waiting NSW Police media cameras in March 2019.

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