A grand jury will hear next month a case against a former Madison High School swim coach accused of taking indecent liberties with a 17-year-old girl on the varsity swim team more than a decade ago.
In a probable cause hearing in Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, Judge Glenn L. Clayton II said prosecutors presented enough evidence against Noah Rucker, 39, of Bristow, to move forward three felony counts of indecent liberties with a child while in a custodial or supervisory relationship.
The grand jury will convene the week of Sept. 17.
Rucker, represented by Thomas B. Walsh of Petrovich & Walsh PLC, is accused of having inappropriate contact with the victim on at least three separate occasions, according to arrest warrants: Oct. 3, 2001; between Nov. 1 and 30, 2001; and Dec. 1 and 30, 2001.
At the time of the incident, Rucker was 29; the victim was 17, police said.
Walsh requested the felony charged for alleged sexual acts around Oct. 3, 2001, be dropped because those acts would have occurred before the start of the 2001 swimming season when Rucker was not in an official supervisory capacity over the victim. Clayton denied the request, saying the relationship grew out of Rucker's role as coach.
Rucker began coaching at Madison in the fall of 2000, according to Fairfax County Public Schools. He left the system in April 2002, though testimony given Thursday suggested he may have stopped coaching in December 2001.
During the hearing Thursday, excerpts from the victim's journal indicated she allegedly had sex with Rucker at least five times over the course of his tenure as swim coach.
Patch does not name victims in sexual or juvenile cases.
Rucker remains released on a $5,000 bond with orders not to contact the victim in the case. He has been ordered to stay in the Washington, D.C., area and has surrendered his passport.
In the courtroom Thursday, Rucker leaned back in a chair with his hands folded in front of his chest as the victim answered questions about their alleged encounters at his residence. Most of the incidents occurred on Fridays after swim meets, the woman said. She would arrive alone and would usually return to her parents' home, though she stayed overnight one weekend when her parents were out of town, she said.
The first encounter happened after a Madison High School football game, according to Thursday's testimony.
Walsh asked the victim several times if she was forced to have sex with Rucker or if the acts were a required part of her role as a member of the team. She answered no to both questions.
In December 2001, a student activities employee saw the victim driving to Rucker’s home, where they later had sex, the victim said Thursday. She was questioned a few days later by a former Madison Athletic Director and another school official and denied her relationship with Rucker.
Walsh presented an instant message to the court between the victim and a friend at the time of the sexual relationship that showed the victim saying she was not going to have sex with Rucker. The woman said Thursday the statement was meant to indicate she would not have sex with Rucker again; she told the same friend she had sex with Rucker the morning after their first encounter occurred, she said, listing at least five other people who she told of the incident in 2001.
The victim said she lied because she believed she was in love with Rucker, who told her they would get married when she was old enough.
After the alleged incidents in 2001 and 2002, the victim encountered Rucker again when she was 21 years old and they dated for six months at that time, she said.
After calling an emergency hearing on Rucker's status with the organization, USA Swimming suspended his membership last month, according to the Washington Post.
Rucker 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.
Rick Curl, a prominent swimming coach and founder of the Curl-Burke Swim Club, is also facing accusations of having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old swimmer in the 1980s.
Curl, who has taken a leave of absence from his position, also accepted a provisional suspension from USA Swimming, the sport's governing body, according to the Post.