Former student accuses swim coach Rick Curl of sexual abuse
Just days before the opening ceremony for the Summer Olympics, a controversy is surrounding a well-respected swim coach who has helped others aspire for Olympic dreams.
A former student of Rick Curl claims she was sexually abused by the coach, and he's been fighting ever since to cover it up.
Today, Kelley Currin, formerly Kelley Davies, lives in Texas and is in her 40s. But to this day, the records she set as a teen in the 80s are still on the Curl-Burke swimming website.
The Sherwood High School grad's allegations of what went on outside the pool back then have shocked D.C.'s swim community.
"I've had my hands tied for quite a long time, and I couldn't stand it anymore," Currin said.
Currin said for three years in the 80s, starting when she was just 13, she and Curl-Burke founder Rick Curl had an inappropriate relationship, which included having sex on countless occasions.
"I trusted him, and my parents trusted him, everybody trusted him, and that trust was broken," Currin added.
Curl's program now has locations all over the suburbs of Virginia and Maryland. Thousands of swimmers have gone through it.
Currin made public confidential court documents allegedly signed by Curl, in which he admits to the inappropriate relationship and agrees to pay $150,000 for her and her family to keep quiet. Currin says she went public now in case there are any more alleged victims are out there.
"I feel guilty constantly, because I have not done something to protect other sweet little girls," Currin explained.
On its website, the Curl-Burke Swim Club published a statement stating that the allegations are painful for the club, adding Curl has decided to take a leave of absence effective immediately.
Currin says she is upset with USA Swimming, which she says should have done more to keep Curl from kids in recent months.
Currin says she forwarded them a copy of the court documents in April, but no proceedings were taken until she went public to The Washington Post this week.
She says Curl was even given a prominent spot during the recent U.S. Olympic swimming trials.
USA Swimming emailed ABC7 this statement in response to the allegations:
"Acting on information it had received about a possible incident involving an unidentified swimmer in the past, USA Swimming worked for months to identify Ms. Currin, and then to locate her. USA Swimming found Ms. Currin and raised this matter with her. She did not come to us.
USA Swimming’s third-party investigator first spoke with Ms. Currin in April. At that time, Ms. Currin sent the investigator the confidential Settlement Agreement she had signed with Mr. Curl. Because this agreement was described as “confidential,” USA Swimming advised Ms. Currin to speak with an attorney before the investigator sent the settlement agreement on to USA Swimming in order to protect herself from legal jeopardy. Ms. Currin’s first lawyer agreed with that approach, and the investigator did not forward the agreement.
On Wednesday, July 18, Ms. Currin advised USA Swimming that she had a new lawyer. On Friday morning, July 20, counsel for USA Swimming emailed the new lawyer and advised him that if, as Ms. Currin’s new counsel, he was comfortable with USA Swimming seeing a copy of the Settlement Agreement, we would ask the investigator to send it to us immediately. Friday afternoon, Mr. Allard attached the Settlement Agreement to an email sent directly to USA Swimming. The following Monday, USA Swimming initiated a National Board of Review proceeding against Mr. Curl based on information contained in the Settlement Agreement."
Would you like to contribute to this story? Join the discussion.