Just in time for the Olympics, USA Swimming has had to schedule an emergency hearing after a 43-year-old woman came forward to accuse a longtime member and youth coach of sexually abusing her nearly 30 years ago.
The woman, Kelley (Davies) Currin, also says that, in 1989, she and her parents reached a settlement agreement with the now-62-year-old coach, Rick Curl, in which he agreed to pay them $150,000 over a period of 11 years so they wouldn't go public or to the cops with any allegations. Currin recently shared the contents of that settlement agreement with the Washington Post:
Curl, who coached Tom Dolan to three medals in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, attended last month's U.S. Olympic trials in Omaha on a coaching credential. His Curl-Burke Swim Club, founded in 1978, is one of the largest in the country, with 950 swimmers among its 10 sites in the Washington area.
Currin, now 43, told The Post last week that her growing desire to speak publicly of her experience finally overcame concerns about jeopardizing the settlement.
"I was stifled for 23 years from saying anything because I signed a piece of paper when I was 19," Currin said. "Now, I've gotten to the point in my life where I'm done being quiet about it. . . . It was a crime, what happened."
Currin said her parents believed they had gotten bad legal advice and later regretted agreeing to the settlement, but at the time saw few options.
"My parents were great parents, but they were as naive as I was," said Currin, who now lives outside Dallas. "They did not know. They trusted this guy."
Currin also says other coaches were made aware of her story over the years. USA Swimming called for the emergency meeting Monday, and it's expected to take place within 10 days. After that, according to the Post, there would have to be a full board meeting 45 days later to determine whether to suspend Curl's membership. The Post has the additional details, but Currin says the abuse continued for four years after it began in March 1983, when she was just 13.
Curl-Burke founder Rick Curl faces hearing on former swimmer's account of underage sexual relationship in 1980s [Washington Post]
Settlement agreement between Rick Curl and Davies family [Washington Post]