Kinesiologist found guilty of sexual assault
A KINESIOLOGIST has today been found guilty of sexually assaulting a female patient during a treatment session, by a majority verdict of 11 jurors.
The jury found Daniel John Liddel, 54, indecently touched the patient, 33, during a massage in April, 2018, at his Bracken Ridge Natural Therapies clinic, on Brisbane's northside.
The woman told the court during a therapeutic treatment session Liddel pulled her pants and underpants down below her bottom and rubbed either side of her vagina.
Liddel, who pleaded not guilty, gave evidence denying the allegations.
On the fifth day of the Brisbane District Court trial, after the jurors had deliberated for almost 13 hours since Wednesday, Judge Michael Byrne today asked if they were likely to reach a unanimous verdict.
When told it was not likely, Judge Shanahan gave a direction allowing the jury to deliberate on whether they could reach a majority verdict, with 11 of them in agreement.
The jury returned a guilty verdict by majority of 11, soon after that direction.
Judge Shanahan will hear sentencing submissions later today.
The court heard the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, met Liddel at a holistic therapy festival called Mind Body Spirit in 2017.
She began seeing him for kinesiology treatment - an alternative holistic therapy - after suffering an injury five years earlier, the court heard.
The woman told the court Liddel told her "a hug was all that was needed" after she offered to pay for one consultation and treatment.
The woman told the court during a third therapeutic treatment session in April 2018, Liddel pulled her pants and underpants down below her bottom, without asking.
She also told the court that without asking her he rubbed her body, within 1-2cm and 1-3cm on either side of her vagina, for 45 seconds to a minute.
"I offered to pay and he said all he needed was a hug in return," the woman said.
The woman said she never gave permission for Liddel to touch her in that area and she said, "I felt very violated by what had happened."
She said she regretted not saying anything to Liddel that day, and it had been a very traumatic event that followed her every day.
The woman's boyfriend gave evidence that the next day she told him that Liddel had pulled down her pants and underwear to below her buttocks.
He said she lay on their bed and showed him where "Danny" had been working on her, indicating it was "between her vagina and her bum", less than a couple of centimetres away.
In August 2018 the woman went to see Liddel for another treatment session and secretly recorded their conversation.
She asked Liddel about him previously pulling her pants and underpants all the way down, and he said he apologised if that was the case, but he did not remember doing it.
The next day Liddel sent the woman an email saying, "I'm very upset you're upset."
He said he could not remember pulling her pants down as far as she said, and he had been working on her protruded pelvis.
Liddel said in the email: "I'm devastated you believe I was trying to do something wrong."
Giving evidence, Liddel said he would not pull a patient's pants down below the bottom.
He said he was "100 per cent sure" he had not touched the patient where she said he did.
"I never removed her pants and underwear and I did nothing sexual," Liddel said under cross-examination by Crown prosecutor regarding the woman's treatment in April 2018.
Judge Byrne told jurors in order to find Liddel guilty they had to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Liddel had unlawfully and indecently assaulted the woman.
They also had to be satisfied that he did both acts with the intention of sexual gratification or that his actions involved a sexual connotation.
During deliberations the jury asked to hear all of the complainant's and Liddel's evidence and recordings of that evidence were played to them over three hours yesterday.