Australian swim coach Scott Volkers will finally stand trial in Brisbane on allegations of sexual abuse committed against two girls under the age of 16 in the 1980s.
Volkers appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday, where it was determined that there was enough evidence for him to stand trial in front of a jury for five offenses that allegedly took place in two Brisbane suburbs of Aspley and Bald Hills between 1984 and 1988. Volkers did not enter a plea.
“It’s an exciting day. It’s a hard day. But we’re really, really looking forward to our chance to have our say,” one of the two alleged victims said outside of the court, according to the AAP.
Volkers was charged once in 2002, but the charges were ultimately dropped. Queensland’s child abuse and sex crimes group re-opened the case after three of his former swimmers accused him of abuse in front of a Royal Commission in Australia, though charges have only been filed involving two.
While Volkers was refused a “blue card” in Australia, which means he is not allowed to work with children in Australia, he did continue to hold positions at the Queensland Academy of Sport and within Swimming Queensland until 2010. He then moved to Brazil, where he served as the head coach of Minas Tenis Club until 2016. The Australian Olympic Committee asked Brazil to leave him off the roster for the 2016 Olympic Games, and while he coached at the pre-Olympic camp, he was denied accreditation to the Games themselves.
At the time, he was coaching swimmers like Nicolas Oliveira and World Record holder Cesar Cielo.
Among the Australian athletes that Volkers coached when he shot to fame in the 1980s is 8-time Olympic medalist Susie O’Neill, though she has not made any public accusations against her former coach.