‘He is going to fight to his dying breath’: Renowned swimming coach charged over alleged sexual assault

Renowned swimming coach Dick Caine will ask for charges of sexual assault on two teenage pupils in the 1970s to be dropped because he has terminal cancer and will die before a trial.

Caine, 76, was arrested on Wednesday at his Condell Park home and charged with six counts of carnal knowledge – teacher of student ages 10 – 17 – and three counts of indecent assault.

Carnal knowledge was an offence in the Crimes Act at the time of the alleged offences, referring to alleged sexual assault.

Today NSW Police charged an innocent man, a terminally ill man, for an offence that [allegedly] occurred 46 years ago, Caine’s lawyer Bryan Wrench said outside Bankstown Local Court after his client was granted bail on Wednesday afternoon.

He is going to fight to his dying breath to clear his name, it’s a terrible situation. I am going to be asking the prosecution to discontinue the proceedings, said Wrench.

The police investigation allegedly revealed another victim and that both attended his swim school at Carss Park Swimming Pool, police said.

Detectives will allege the girls, then aged 15 and 16, were sexually abused over an 18-month period in various locations in and around Sydney’s south in the 1970s, Kings Cross Police Area Commander Acting Superintendent Chris Nicholson told reporters.

I acknowledge the courage and the bravery of the [alleged] victims who have come forward, acting superintendent Nicholson said.

Caine has terminal cancer, major depression, seizures, heart problems and sleep apnoea, his wife Jenny told Bankstown Local Court on Wednesday afternoon.

Maybe six months, Jenny Caine said during the bail application when asked about her husband’s prognosis.

She said she had received endless calls and messages, including from former swimming pupils, since news of her husband’s arrest broke.

He was first interviewed by detectives in 2021.

Caine was head coach at Carss Park Swimming Pool for more than 40 years until it closed in 2020. He coached 11 world and Olympic champion swimmers, and athletes from other sports, including boxer Anthony Mundine.

Caine was inducted into the Australian Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame earlier this year.

Dick has been recognised by John Howard, the former Australian Prime Minister, several Civic Councils, a number of board of directors and literally tens of thousands of individual boys and girls who are now mums and dads, with a second generation of people learning how to swim or stay fit, his website Team Caine states.

Tens of thousands of young Australian boys and girls have trained with Dick at Carss Park Pool & Gyms for various sports, and some have gone on to National and International superstar status.

Gladys Berejiklian wrote a letter congratulating Caine on 45 years of hard work, persistence and dedicated service to our local members when she was Premier after a recommendation from Oatley MP Mark Coure.

I cannot stress enough the important contribution you have made to so many children across generations, she wrote in a letter published on Caine’s Team Caine website.

Alan Jones and a number of Caine’s former pupils have also written letters praising the coach.

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