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Rick Curl gets 7 years in child sex abuse case

May 23, 2013
Rick Curl leave court after hearing in February 2013

Rick Curl leaves court after the hearing in February 2013

Former Washington D.C. swimming coach Rick Curl, who once led one of the USA’s largest swim clubs and guided athletes to Olympic gold medals, was sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison for sexually abusing a girl he coached in the 1980s.

Judge Marielsa Bernard’s announcement of the 15-year sentence with all but seven years suspended, along with five years’ probation, drew audible gasps from dozens of Curl’s family members and friends who had packed the Montgomery County Circuit Court in Rockville.

The victim in the case, Kelley Currin, 43, traveled from her home in Texas to speak during the sentencing. When she stood to face Curl in court, it was the first time she had spoken to her former coach since she left for college in the late 1980s.

“I loved Rick Curl. I loved him,” she said. “He was my hero.”

Curl’s sexual abuse of Currin, formerly Kelley Davies, began when she was just 13, according to the charging documents. Curl was 34 at the time. The sexual contact continued for five years, according to the documents.

Her statement included intimate details of the abuse, including their first kiss at the Georgetown Prep water fountain and a long dance together at Curl’s wedding to his wife, Linda.

In 1989, Currin and her family entered into a non-disclosure agreement with Curl. They agreed to keep silent about the sexual abuse in exchange for $150,000.

Currin decided to break that agreement last summer, and came forward with allegations against Curl.

Curl pleaded guilty in February to one count of child sexual abuse involving Currin.

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