A former Madison High School swim coach accused of taking indecent liberties with a 17-year-old girl on the varisty swim team more than a decade ago has been ordered to stay in the Washington, D.C., area until his hearing Aug. 2.
Noah Rucker, 39, of Bristow, who was charged with three felony counts of indecent liberties with a child while in a custodial or supervisory relationship earlier this month, was also forced to surrender his passport.
Rucker was released on a $5,000 bond with orders not to contact the victim in the case.
According to arrest warrants, Rucker had inappropriate contact with the girl on at least three separate occasions: Oct. 3, 2001; between November 1 and 30, 2001; and December 1 and 30, 2001.
According to local swimming websites, he was most recently a coach for the Curl-Burke Swim Club, one of the country's most prestigious competitive swim programs. Its membership boasts more than 950 swimmers — including many of Northern Virginia's top high school swimmers — who compete in seven locations across the Washington, D.C., region.
At press time, Rucker's name had been removed from the club's roster of coaches.
Rucker's LinkedIn profile includes a recommendation written in November 2011 for his time as coach with the organization.
"An excellent enthusiastic detail-orientated employee. Very dependable and a hard worked for me [sic]," it reads.
The case has circulated quickly around the Northern Virginia swim community in which he has coached over the past several years, where "parents have a lot of time on their hands to share stories and gossip," said one parent who asked to remain anonymous to protect the identity of her juvenile daughter, an area swimmer.
Her daughter, along with some of her other children, swam for Rucker on a team called the Patriots, known now as Burke West, in 2008-2009. They left the team after that year, not because of rumors about Rucker, but because they were not happy with the coaching they were receiving, the parent said.
Her daughter would meet Rucker again in 2010 when he coached for The Wellington Dolphins Swim Team, a Manassas-based club of swimmers from Prince William County.
It was there "I learned about Noah's reputation as a coach who liked to flirt with and date his swimmers," the parent said.
The parent says she was never under the impression Rucker was "after younger swimmers. Rather, he pushed the envelope with the older teens," she said.
By the time her family swam for him at Wellington, "the rumors were rampant about his penchant for his older teen swimmers," she said, also calling him "sort of a playboy."
"There seemed to be some sort of unhealthy vibe between the older girl swimmers and [Rucker]," the parent said. " I have to say that any time Noah's name comes up in conversation with swim parents, his reputation for preying on the older girl swimmers was always an undertone."
The family was uncomfortable with that situation, the parent said, and decided not to swim for Wellington the next year.
"Many of us have wondered openly how it is that Noah has not been caught," the parent said. "We just assumed that the girls were not kissing and telling and that either the parents were clueless or complacent in how they monitored the situation with their teenagers."
Other former swimmers of Rucker's during his time at Madison did not return requests for comment.
Patch will continue to report on this story as more information becomes available.