Former Swim Club Coach Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Abuse

Vienna's Rick Curl, who co-founded the Curl-Burke Swim Club, faces up to 15 years in prison — a decision that comes just a month after a former Madison High School swim coach struck a deal in a similar case.

Former swim coach and Vienna resident Rick Curl pleaded guilty to one count of child sex abuse Thursday in Montgomery County Circuit Court, NBC 4 reports.

Charges were brought against Curl in November after a former swim student's allegations of abuse were reported by the Washington Post. The student claimed Curl abused her for five years in the 1980s.

Curl agreed to plead guilty at a hearing earlier this month. According to NBC, Curl coached Olympian Tom Dolan.

Curl faces up to 15 years in prison. As a result of his guilty plea, Curl will be required to register as a sex offender. NBC 4 states Curl's sentencing is scheduled for May. He has been released on a $50,000 bond.

Curl, who co-founded the Curl-Burke Swim Club, was banned for life by USA Swimming following the allegations. The club, which has multiple locations in Northern Virginia, was later renamed the Nation’s Capital Swim Club. 

The Curl Burke Swim Team was responsible for training Olympic swimmers such as Katie Ledecky.

The case is the second sex abuse incident in recent months involving a Vienna swim coach.

In January, former Madison High School swim coach Noah Rucker struck a deal with prosecutors in a case that alleged he had sexual contact with a 17-year-old female swimmer on his swim team at Madison in 2001.

Rucker also coached for Curl Burke.

This fall, a grand jury indicted Rucker, who was 29 at the time of the alleged incidents, on three felony counts of indecent liberties with a child while in a custodial or supervisory relationship.

In January, the Washington Post reported, Rucker "entered an Alford plea to one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor."

"In an Alford plea, a defendant admits there’s enough evidence for a conviction, but doesn’t admit guilt, the Post reported.

The Bristow resident was convicted of a misdemeanor offense in the deal.

Like Curl, the former coach — who up until his arrest in 2012 had coached swimmers across Northern Virginia — was also suspended by USA Swimming.

Related stories:

  • Former Swim Club Coach Rick Curl Agrees to Plead Guilty to Child Sex Abuse
  • Curl-Burke Swim Club Founder Banned by USA Swimming
  • Former Madison Swim Coach Indicted on Three Felony Charges
  • Charges Against Former Madison Swim Coach Head to Grand Jury
  • August Hearing Scheduled for Former Swim Coach
  • Emergency Hearing Called for Former Swim Coach
  • Former Madison Coach Charged with Inappropriate Sexual Contact with a Minor
Paris Jacobs February 22, 2013 at 04:35 PM
Just a minor correction- they were not "suspended" from USA Swimming they were "banned for life" from USA Swimming.


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