Banned Swim Coach Curl Charged With Child Abuse
WASHINGTON (AP) — Banned swim coach Rick Curl turned himself in Thursday to face a child abuse charge stemming from allegations of a sexual relationship with an underage swimmer in the 1980s.
The Washington Post reported that Curl, 63, made arrangements to surrender to police in suburban Montgomery County, Md. He was released on $50,000 bond and faces a Nov. 16 preliminary hearing on the felony charge.
One of his former swimmers, Kelley Davies Currin, claims Curl started a relationship with her in 1983 when she was 13. It lasted for about four years until discovered by her parents. On advice of counsel, the family settled the case with Curl for $150,000 rather than pursuing criminal charges, a decision the alleged victim now regrets.
Curl could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted. There is generally no statute of limitations on felony charges in Maryland.
Currin’s attorney, Robert Allard, said his client “is pleased that justice is going to be carried out against Mr. Curl but there remains unfinished business.” Citing the Jerry Sandusky case at Penn State, Allard renewed his claims that officials at USA Swimming were aware of Curl’s abuse and covered it up for years.
“We urge the authorities, as they did with Penn State, to now look into possible criminal conduct that has occurred within USA Swimming,” he said.
USA Swimming has maintained that it began investigating Curl as soon it became aware of the decades-old case. He received a lifetime ban from the organization last month after waiving his right to challenge the allegation — the latest high-profile case in a sexual abuse scandal that has rocked one of America’s most successful Olympic sports over the last two years.
Curl’s attorneys, Thomas J. Kelly Jr. and Bruce L. Marcus, issued a statement calling him a “devoted father and husband” who over three decades “successfully coached hundreds of young men and women.”
Curl was co-founder of the renowned Curl-Burke Swim Club in suburban Washington and coached 1996 and 2000 Olympic gold medalist Tom Dolan. He has since left the club, which changed its name and is now known as Nation’s Capital Swim Club.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)