Top swim coach in teen sex investigation

July 25, 2012 at 1:40 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 25 (UPI) -- USA Swimming says it is investigating Washington-area swim coach Rick Curl amid allegations he had a long-term affair with an underage swimmer in the 1980s.

The Washington Post Wednesday reported USA Swimming requested an emergency disciplinary hearing against Curl, 62, founder of the Curl-Burke Swim Club, one of the largest in the United States with some 950 swimmers.

The scandal surfaced this week when former champion teen swimmer Kelley Currin, 43, then Kelley Davies, said she began a sexual relationship with Curl in 1983 when she was 13 and Curl was 33. The sexual misconduct allegedly lasted until 1987.

The Post said the girl's parents learned of the alleged underage sexual relationship in 1987 by reading their daughter's diary when she was leaving for the University of Texas on a swimming scholarship and confronted Curl.

The parties reportedly reached a non-disclosure settlement in 1989 in which Curl agreed to pay the family $150,000 over 11 years and the family agreed not to press charges or talk about the settlement, the Post reported Wednesday.

"I was stifled for 23 years from saying anything because I signed a piece of paper when I was 19," Currin told the Post in an interview last week. "Now, I've gotten to the point in my life where I'm done being quiet about it. ... It was a crime, what happened."

Reached by telephone, Curl declined to comment to the Post on its report or USA Swimming's request for a disciplinary hearing. Curl posted a letter on the swim club's Web site Wednesday announcing he was taking an immediate leave of absence, the Post said.

USA Swimming released a statement Wednesday: "USA Swimming was provided with information late Friday afternoon which enabled it to initiate the Board of Review process. We requested an expedited hearing on Monday and have invited the alleged victim to testify. We hope she will take part in this process, as reporting remains an integral part of the Safe Sport Program."

Curl coached triple-medal-winning Olympic swimmer Tom Dolan during the 1996 and 2000 Summer Games and was the American Swimming Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 1994.

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