Rick Curl, Swimming Coach, Banned For Life After Sex Abuse Case

8:57 PM, Sep 19, 2012   |    comments
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(WUSA/AP) -- USA Swimming has banned coach Rick Curl for life after learning of an improper relationship with a teenage swimmer in the 1980s.

Curl, who attended this year's U.S. Olympic trials on a coaching credential, was scheduled for a hearing Wednesday before the National Board of Review but informed the governing body he was waiving his right to challenge the case. He voluntarily gave up his membership and will be added to USA Swimming's list of banned individuals, which is published on the organization Web site.

Curl was accused of starting a relationship with a 13-year-old swimmer in the 1980s. She decided to come forward and reveal that she received a $150,000 settlement from Curl not to go to law enforcement with her accusations.

On Wednesday morning, WUSA 9 received the following statement from Kelley Davies Currin, who stepped forward earlier this year to say that Curl molested her when she was 13 years old:

"I am happy to hear that Rick Curl may finally be starting to accept responsibility for what he did to me. I can now only hope that USA Swimming will accept responsibility for refusing to ban Rick Curl when they had knowledge to do so."

Her attorney, Robert Allard, released the following statement:

"The decision on behalf of Mr. Curl to capitulate without a public hearing conclusively demonstrates that each and every one of the allegations that my client presented are completely 100% true and accurate. 

The fact that Mr. Curl has now been permanently banned from USA membership is only the first of what we hope are many steps, including imprisonment, which will be taken against him to ensure that justice is served for the heinous acts committed upon my client when she was just a child. 

Now, we proceed to the extent of the knowledge possessed by USA Swimming and why action was not taken earlier. Indeed, in its statement that was issued by USA Swimming on September 18, 2012 concerning the Mark Schubert lawsuit recently filed in Orange County, CA, the organization saliently failed to deny, or even address, the allegations that its organization, particularly through its Executive Director Chuck Wielgus, had known about Mr. Curl's molestation of Ms. Currin for a number of years and failed to take any action whatsoever in response thereto.

Mr. Curl was the proverbial Jerry Sandusky within this organization and, similar to Penn State immediately moving to rid itself of those who knew and did nothing, we are not going to stop until the same is done at USA Swimming, starting with Mr. Wielgus and the man who has admitted to knowing all about Mr. Curl going back to the early 1990's and failed to take effective action to protect young swimmers- Vice President David Berkoff."

A timeline of the investigation from USA Swimming shows that a former swimmer had heard about the inappropriate relationship in April 2011. A year later, USA Swimming found Currin, who agreed to file a complaint. An investigator took over the case and in July, a petition was initiated against Curl. 

Here's the full timeline of the investigation, courtesy of USA Swimming:

1. April 2011: USA Swimming receives a report from a former swimmer who had heard from his roommate that Mr. Curl had an inappropriate relationship with a minor female swimmer in the 1980s and that a confidential legal settlement had been entered into. USA Swimming initiates an investigation.

2. April 2012: USA Swimming identifies and locates Kelly Currin. USA Swimming's Director of Safe Sport contacts Ms. Currin who agrees to file a complaint. USA Swimming's investigator interviews Ms. Currin. Investigation ongoing.

3. July 23, 2012: USA Swimming initiates a petition against Mr. Curl under its rules, seeking to temporarily suspend his membership at an emergency hearing, and to permanently ban him from membership and place his name on USA Swimming's published list of Individuals Permanently Suspended or Ineligible for USA Swimming membership.

4. August 1, 2012: Mr. Curl waives his right to an emergency hearing, and his USA Swimming membership is temporarily suspended by the USA Swimming National Board of Review, pending a final hearing on the action, set for September 19, 2012.*

5. September 18, 2012: Mr. Curl informs the National Board of Review that he is: voluntarily and permanently relinquishing his USA Swimming membership; waiving his right to a final National Board of Review hearing, and accepting the sanction requested by USA Swimming.*

6. September 18, 2012: The USA Swimming National Board of Review enters an order revoking Mr. Curl's membership, permanently banning him from membership; and directing that his name be placed on USA Swimming's published list of Individuals Permanently Suspended or Ineligible for USA Swimming Membership.

*The Amateur Sports Act requires that a member be afforded the opportunity for a hearing before being declared ineligible. The right to a hearing can be waived.

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