Former swim coach Anthony O’Donnell admitted to police that he subjected at 13-year-old girl to “tickle torture,” but denied allegations that he indecently assaulted her.
The Age of Victoria, Australia reports that O’Donnell told police he had the girl raise her hands above her head so he could tickle her, but denied the alleged assault for which he is being charged.
O’Donnell pleaded “not guilty” to three charges last December, including indecent acts toward a child under 16. O’Donnell still maintains his innocence of those charges, but according to The Age, he is admitting to tickling the girl, who was one of his swimmers at the time.
The Age reports that O’Donnell would visit the girl at her home to discuss her swimming performance. O’Donnell is accused of creating a bizarre system of punishments that included the “tickle torture” and spanking the girl’s bare bottom.
O’Donnell had been a swim coach for many years at the Waterlions Swimming Club in the city of Keysborough, which is near Melbourne, Australia.
He was let go from the club before these allegations about his punishment system came to light. O’Donnell’s hearing in from of the Melbourne Magistrates Court continues in February with testimony from the girl’s parents.