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Disgraced Curl Charged With Child Abuse

Oct 26, 2012  - Craig Lord

Rick Curl, banned for life by USA Swimming last month, surrendered to police yesterday to face a charge of child abuse after allegations that he had an ongoing sexual relationship with a young swimmer in the 1980s.

Curl, 63, was charged in an arrest warrant on Tuesday this week. If convicted of a single count, he faces up to 15 years in jail.

The former coach has watched his world crumble about him, the club he co-founded, Curl-Burke Swim Club, already renamed as the Nation's Capital Swim Club.

Curl was interviewed by a county detective in Maryland on August 15, about three weeks after The Washington Post published an interview with a former member of his swim team who alleged that Curl had a sexual relationship with her and then paid her and her parents to keep quiet about it.

Kelley Currin (nee Davies) is now 43. She alleges that Curl began touching her inappropriately in 1983 before she turned 14 and that the abuse continued and escalated in the years after that. The teenager considered it a "love affair", she told the Washington Post.

If that started with kissing, fondling and having her touch his genitalia before she turned 15, then intercourse started from the time Davies was 15, she alleges. The alleged abuse is said to have occurred at Curl's former homes in Rockville and Darnestown and the swimming facilities at the Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, according to court documents.

Through her attorney, B. Robert Allard, Currin announced that she appreciated that investigators have taken action despite the passing of time (there is no limitation in Maryland that would prevent a successful prosecution). She added that she felt "relieved that this has been done". Her lawyer added: "She feels that the world is a better place now than it was before he was arrested."

Curl was released on $50,000 bond. His legal representatives called him a "devoted father and husband" who over three decades "successfully coached hundreds of young men and women."

"Rick Curl is a good man," attorneys Thomas J. Kelly Jr. and Bruce L. Marcus announced adding that many swimmers and their family members at the club, after having heard of the allegations, "reached out to us to offer their support and to reiterate that Rick was an excellent coach, a good person, and a man that provided them and their children with strong moral leadership".

The law will now decide, a preliminary hearing scheduled for November 16.