Ex-coach Accused Of Sex Assault
Tuesday June 25, 2002
A FORMER State and national gymnastics coach from the Hunter has been accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old school pupil.
Keith Giddy, 69, a former physical education teacher in the Hunter Region, is charged with sexually assaulting the girl on a number of occasions in the early 1980s.
Mr Giddy, a life member of the NSW Gymnastics Association, has pleaded not guilty.
He appeared in the Downing Centre District Court in Sydney yesterday, where he is expected to face trial if a stay application by his defence counsel is defeated.
The court was told Mr Giddy has been accused by a former student of taking her aside after a gym session and rubbing her vagina.
It has been alleged that he penetrated the girl with his fingers on at least three occasions.
Paul Byrne, SC, for Mr Giddy, told the court yesterday that doubt had been shed on a recovered memory session the alleged victim had undergone, because her psychologist was unwilling to testify or be questioned about it.
`We have no way of verifying what Ms ....... has said,' Mr Byrne said.
`It is a very unsatisfactory situ-ation.'
The court was told the alleged assaults were first made public after the alleged victim told a flatmate.
Prosecutor Jane Culver said the repressed memory treatment by the victim had occurred in 1996, many years after the confession to the flatmate, and dealt with an eating disorder not sexual assault.
`The (recovered memory) issue is, in my submission, a red herring,' she said.
`There has been no traumatic re-awakening of memory.'
Judge Greg Woods is expected to rule today on a stay application concerning the case which, if defeated, would pave the way for Mr Giddy to stand trial.
A suppression order barring publication of Mr Giddy's name was lifted yesterday.
Mr Giddy began his association with gymnastics about 25 years ago.
In 1976, he became State coach for an under-14 female team.
Mr Giddy trained the Australian women's team at the world gymnastic championships in Strasbourg in 1978 and coached the team the following year in Fort Worth, Texas.
In 1981, Mr Giddy travelled to Moscow as a head coach for the world championships and in 1986 was Australian women's tumbling coach at the world championships in Paris.
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