An Australian swimming coach has been charged with indecent acts toward a child under 16 after allegedly creating a strange “punishment” system that included inappropriate acts.
The Age reports that 46-year-old Anthony O’Donnell pleaded “not guilty” to three charges this week in the Melbourne Magistrates Court.
The charges are centered on accusations that O’Donnell took part in a punishment ritual with a 13-year-old swimmer in her home during the year 2013.
Prosecutors allege that O’Donnell had a punishment system for the swimmer that included “tickle torture” and spanking her bare bottom, among some other indecent actions. The Age goes into the allegations in more detail here.
The alleged victim reported the alleged incident to a school counselor last year, which led to an investigation into O’Donnell, who is no longer coaching. The Age reports that the now-15-year-old swimmer has not swum since the alleged abuse, and that O’Donnell’s “working with children check” has been suspended.
The Telegraph Times reports that O’Donnell was a high-level trainer with the Waterlions Swimming Club in Keysborough for many years. The Telegraph Times also reports that the girl’s mother was at home, but in a different room, during one of the three alleged incidents.
O’Donnell pleaded “not guilty” on Monday, and the hearing will continue before Magistrate Lance Martin on Wednesday.