A jury has found a kindergarten teacher in far north Queensland not guilty of inappropriately touching a four-year-old boy in his care at a daycare centre.
The 26-year-old man was accused of cupping the genitals of the boy while helping him change out of wet clothes at a far north Queensland childcare centre.
After about 90 minutes of deliberation on Wednesday afternoon, a District Court jury in Cairns found the man — who cannot be named for legal reasons — not guilty of indecent treatment of a child under 12 in his care.
The incident was alleged to have happened in a bathroom after the children had played outside with water sometime during 2016 or early 2017
In a police interview played in court on Tuesday, the defendant said he could not recall ever touching the boy inappropriately.
"I don't like being alone in the bathroom with children at [the centre] at all to start with," he said
"Because I'm a male working in a childhood setting, I like to avoid things being taken out of context or situations such as this, that's why I generally have my assistant do that work.
The court heard from the boy's mother on Tuesday, who said her son stopped wanting to go to the centre partway through 2016.
The centre was informed in June last year, after which time the police took over the investigation and charged the defendant.
Whether you are a male or a female Educator working with children, please make sure that you are not alone with a child, whether you are changing them out of wet clothes, toileting, or playing in a game. Please do so in an area where it is visible to others within the centre.
Sharnie Kim, Kindergarten Teacher Not Guilty Of Indecently Cupping 4yo Boy's Genitals In A Childcare Centre, ABC News, 30 May 2018