Aussie coach denies sex acts with boy


MELBOURNE: A top Australian Olympic swimming coach yesterday pleaded not guilty to a series of sexual offence charges against a teenage boy, a court heard. 

Mark Thompson, 36, was a coach to the Australian swimming team during the 2004 Athens Olympics. He is accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy between August 1998 and April 1999. 

Thompson pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of sexual penetration of a child aged under 16 while that child was under his supervision, care or authority, and one count of committing an indecent act with a child aged under 16. 

Among those watching the trial was Olympic swimmer Brooke Hanson, whom Thompson coached to gold in the 4x100m medley and silver in the 100m breaststroke at the Athens Games. 

Prosecutor Ian Heath said the complainant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been coached by Thompson from the age 10 at a local swimming club. 

Heath said Thompson and the boy had oral sex at the complainant's' house, at Thompson's home, in Thompson's car and at a swim meet. – AFP  

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