By Stephen J. Thomas
BRISBANE, Australia, September 18. SCOTT Volkers has his life back!
Indecent assault charges against Volkers, one of Australia's leading swimming coaches, were dropped today, the Director of Public Prosecutions announced today.
Volkers, who trained Olympians Susie O'Neill, Samantha Riley and Elli Overton was earlier this year committed to stand trial on seven counts of indecent dealing with three girls under the age of 16.
But the DPP said today all charges had been dropped.
The 43-year-old father of two, who had been suspended from coaching and any contact with swimmers at the Queensland Academy of Sport, had previously pleaded not guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court to the charges brought against him in March.
The three female complainants, now in their 30s, came forward earlier this year with allegations that dated back to between 1984 and 1987 when they were in their early teens.
Volkers' solicitor Peter Shields said the seven charges were dropped after new evidence obtained by the defense proved his innocence. "We conducted our own investigation which resulted in our obtaining more than twenty statements," Shields said. "The evidence that we were able to uncover proved categorically that my client was innocent."
Mr Shields said the new evidence was presented to Queensland's Deputy Director of Prosecutions Paul Rutledge, who decided to drop the charges involving the three women. Shields said his client was clearly relieved after his ordeal.
Volkers, the head coach at the Queensland Academy of Sport in Brisbane, has been confined to a desk job
awaiting his District Court trial. He told Australian Swimming media manager Ian Hanson that he was "over the moon" after today's decision. "He just wants to have a holiday and then get back on the pool deck," Hanson said.