Charges Against Former Madison Swim Coach Head to Grand Jury

Noah Rucker faces three felony counts for alleged sexual relationship with 17-year-old swimmer on Vienna high school team

A grand jury will hear next month a case against a former 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 .

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 , 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  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.

More on this story:

Amelie Krikorian August 04, 2012 at 09:36 PM
In some states, it is legal for girls who are 16 to get married. I am not saying that that is a good idea; I am saying we need to have consistency. If a girl of 16 is considered old enough to enter into a binding adult relationship...
DMB August 04, 2012 at 11:48 PM
He's 40 and he looks rather young! Now, at age 29 he could have been more appealing and now a day...age is nothing but a number. As sad as this may sound, I know a 16 year old child who admitted to me she likes older men because they are more mature. I am 32 and I look younger than this 16 year old child and many other young ladies who wish to appeal as if they are in their 20's! So, it was okay for her to have sex with someone 17 and younger...? Where were her parents...and why was she alone while they were out of town...
Carol Lewis August 04, 2012 at 11:56 PM
I don't think how appealing he may have looked is an issue here. He was a coach and an adult and in a position of authority and at 17, she was under the age of consent for sex. That makes it statutory rape, period. Yes, it would be ok for her to have sex with someone her age or younger; that would not be rape. A seventeen year old is considered old enough to be left alone.
The Dude August 05, 2012 at 06:49 PM
What's disturbing concerning the Madison HS administration within the county is that he was fired mid-season, the event was swept under the rug & nothing happened as he went along coaching summer league & club teams. Sadly a few years later, he tried to get back into the school system by interviewing at Centreville HS. The DSA knew his story & told him to take a hike. Shortly thereafter, Rucker interviewed at Fairfax HS & was hired! For about a week. The Fairfax DSA got word of his history & canned him before he had a chance to perv it up there.
Erica R. Hendry August 10, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Former Swimmer, your comment has been removed because it violates our comment policy. If you'd like to discuss this further, please email me at erica.hendry at patch.com. Thanks for reading, Erica


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