Curl Burke Founder Arrested, Charged With Child Abuse

Accusations that Rick Curl molested a swimmer back in the 1980s

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Former Curl Burke Swim Club coach Rick Curl turned himself in Thursday on a child abuse charge in Montgomery County. News4's Pat Collins got reaction from Curl's accuser. (Published Thursday, Oct 25, 2012)

    Local swim coach Rick Curl has been arrested and charged with one count of child abuse.

    The charge stems from accusations that he molested a swimmer in the 1980s.

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    That swimmer, Kelley Davies Currin, came forward in July and said that Curl began molesting her at age 13, the Washington Post first reported.

    Family Crimes Detectives say the abuse progressed to an inappropriate sexual relationship when the victim was 15, lasting until she was 18.

    Detectives say the abuse occurred in locations around in Montgomery County, including two of Curl's former homes, and in the swimming facilities at Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, Md., one of the many venues where Curl coached.

    Curl, 63, turned himself in around 8:30 a.m. Thursday. An arrest warrant had been issued two days earlier.

    "I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I'm thankful, I'm sad," Davies Currin told NBC4 Thursday. "I just feel confirmation that what I did was the right thing to do."

    Last month, Curl waived his right to appear before swimming's National Board of Review, resulting in an immediate ban from the sport for life. Curl was a founder of the Curl Burke swim club and coached scores of swimmers who went on to win national and international medals, but he is no longer affiliated with it. The group has been renamed.

    Davies Currin, now 43 and the mother of four, said her family received a $150,000 settlement from Curl in 1989 in exchange for not pressing charges and not speaking publicly about the incidents.

    "I want to see justice. I want to -- and this is so not about me. Really, it's -- I did not come forward because I wanted vengeance from Rick," Davies Currin said Thursday.

    She said she went public because she was afraid there would be a cover up.

    "I felt like I could not stay silent anymore because I knew that USA Swimming was going to do nothing," she said.

    Curl was released on $50,000 bond.