Rick Curl Accuser Currin Speaks Out

  35 Braden Keith | July 25th, 2012 | Featured, National, News

Kelley Currin, the swimmer who has accused the high-profile founder of the Curl Burke swim club, has released a statement through a spokesperson for her attorney Robert Allard.

In the statement, Currin alleges that USA Swimming was provided “months” ago with the same documentation released today by the Washington Post.

Meanwhile, Rick Curl has taken a leave from his post in the administrative offices of Curl Burke.

The Statement released by Currin’s attorney is below:

Currin states, “It is disappointing that USA Swimming has known about Rick Curl and his admission for several months now and has chosen to act only when the Washington Post reports the admission. I faxed the settlement agreement and admission by Rick Curl to a USA Swimming investigator in April of this year. I also followed up and communicated via phone with USA Swimming’s Susan Woesnner, the so-called “Athlete Protection Officer”. I know now that Woesnner was giving me lip service by saying they were sympathetic but then going ahead and giving Rick Curl coaching credentials to the US Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska.  For USA Swimming to tell the media that they just learned of my complaint late last Friday afternoon” (July 20), is an outright lie. There was nothing sent to USA Swimming on July 20 that it did not already have in its possession. The only thing that changed is that the Washington Post got involved. Only then did they give the appearance that they were concerned about my complaint. The fact is that USA Swimming has known about Rick Curl for years.”

Attorney Robert Allard is asking USA Swimming to protect the victim from further abuse by having her recall in detail a painful chapter in her life. Allard states, “USA Swimming and its leaders should resign in disgrace for allowing Curl and other swim coaches to molest young swimmers.” To date, more than 60 USA Swimming coaches have been banned for life for sexually molesting young swimmers.

Currin also states, “Despite Rick Curl’s signed admission, USA Swimming wants me to relive the molestation by going into detail on every sex act committed by Curl. This is insulting to me and to every molestation victim.”

Read USA Swimming’s statement on the emergency hearing, released this morning, here. In their previous statement, USA Swimming said that they would not be able to comment further while the matter is under investigation.

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35 Comments on "Rick Curl Accuser Currin Speaks Out"


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4 years 1 month ago

It sounds very like what happened in Swim Ireland in the 90’s, only then did it come out that they too had known about abuse in swimming clubs, some going on since the 1960’s.It brought down the previous incarnation of swim Ireland and a lot of new rules and regulations were brought in, in relation to coaches interactions with swimmers. This may be only the tip of the iceberg, if they covered up one case, how many more did they cover up? Also well to to Ms.Currin for coming forward, it takes a lot of courage!

trina tambor
4 years 1 month ago

In response to OjectiveReader -“Some of Curl’s wanabee, lackey, yes-men” and braunman82@hotmail.com – “I’m thinking all the head coaches of the Curl sites had to know and be told to keep quiet about this”
This is the problem. No one wants to speak up when they see something being done that is wrong. Pete Morgan wants us to believe that he knew nothing. He has been Rick Curl’s right-hand man since the beginning. I believe he knew and knew that it was in his best interest to stay quiet. If it were to be found out that Pete Morgan knew about the incident and said nothing the repercussions on Curl-Burke could be devastating, as Pete is the head man in charge when Rick Curl is not around – who would run the programs and what would happen to Pete Morgan? It was that way when Rick Curl was coaching in Australia (from 2004-2008) and it is that way now that Rick Curl has taken leave. Sexual abuse was not spoken of twenty-three years ago, it was a different era, and if you tried to call someone out on it, the victim is always the one persecuted. Shame on all those who knew and did nothing! It seems as if the times they are a changing and hopefully because of the awareness, perpetrators will think twice before preying on the more vulnerable! My sympathy goes out to the victim and the family.
USA Swimming has nothing on their website about this – they need to stand up and show that they will take action and that they are going to look out for the children. And the fact that there is no link on the front page of the Washington Post’s website now does make one question whether there is pressure being applied to keep everything on the low key. If 15 yr. old Katie Ledecky comes away with a medal at the Olympics I am betting that Rick Curl will be hard to find.

fluidg
4 years 1 month ago

In the early 80’s, it was “common knowledge” among the swimmers on the team of a national team coach, that he was having an ongoing affair with an underaged female swimmer—who wasn’t the first. At the time the attitude seemed to be “It’s wrong, but it’s their business.” As a swimmer, who do you go to? The coach is all-powerful, THE authority figure—imposing and intimidating. The conflict and the consequences…it would be like calling the police on your own parents.

Now that coach is in the Hall of Fame. It’s a disgrace. He has been accused publicly by yet another former swimmer. I doubt anyone would argue that coaches who selfishly violate and betray the trust of parents and vulnerable swimmers belong in the Hall of Fame. I have no proof and I’m wary of the insidious and destructive power of rumors, but it looks like there’s enough suspicion to warrant more investigation. This limbo state where many people “know” something yet do nothing only protects the guilty and corrodes the integrity of the whole culture.

It’s hard to decide who is worse—the offenders or their defenders who attack those who finally come forward.

MarkB
4 years 1 month ago

FLUIDG,

The worst part of your post was that while reading it, I could come up with more than one name of the possible coach you were referencing.

Brian
4 years 1 month ago

The primary problem is that an organization like USA Swimmng cannot leap blindly at an accusation without being put at high risk for defamation or libel. You can spout moral platitudes until the cows come home, but charges of defamation and libel are quite serious.

“I believe he knew and knew that it was in his best interest to stay quiet.”

Trina’s post is indicative of WHY they have to be so cautious. In this country, everyone is already guilty and believe they know the answers. Monday-Morning lawyering, if you will. That’s why a “jury of your peers” is a terrifying concept.

I mean it’s easy to paint a picture of someone that tarnishes a reputation irrevocably. You give me any one individual’s life history from now until the day they were born, and I could sell them as the vilest scum on earth to a jury. Histrionics, maybe, but it’s not difficult.

Barrister
4 years 1 month ago

At first glance this would seem to be a setup for a civil action; however, she has no standing to assert a claim against USA Swimming at this point. Generally, any Non-Disclosure Agreement would include penalties for breach (repayment, etc.), but this Agreement is silent in regards to penalties beyond mandating binding arbitration in light of a breach.

She is wrong in stating there is an admission by Curl contained in the NDA. It references the proposed Complaint (which was never filed), but it doesn’t contain an outright admission as she claims. The complained of behavior obviously occurred (that is why he agreed to Settlement and waiver of all claims), but it is interesting to see the posture she is taking against USA Swimming.

Jg
4 years 1 month ago

I see a booBook deal coming up ?

junker23
4 years 1 month ago

Hoooooooooo boy. If what she’s saying is true, I really hope this finally does something to USA Swimming.

I doubt it will, but it’d be nice.

FREEBEE
4 years 1 month ago

It is horrible when anybody is abused, especially in our sport that we love so dearly. However, we don’t have all the facts and until we do it is unfair to everyone involved. In the U.S. you are innocent until proven otherwise.

I will say this– if Currin is right–and I do believe her–there probably were/are others (not necessarily swimmers).

Iswam
4 years 1 month ago

Im not on anyone’s side, but you can accuses some one of molestation and then think you should not have to talk about. Also if Rick curl is guilty then so are your parents for not pressing charges when they found out. If it was my child no amount of money or advise would stop me from pursuing it legally.
But what gets me why now, all these years later, Rick curl does no even coach any more he is now just the name behind the team but has no interaction with swimmers. I’m not siding with anyone and what ever did happen was wrong on his part but it was a long time ago and now you are not only ruining him but also his insolent family when this all could have been settled 27 years ago, not by taking money to keep silent but in a court room.

A CUBU mom
4 years 1 month ago

Agree with Iswam. Parents of swimmer should not have taken payoff IF there was incident. How is it even relevant now that Curl doesn’t even coach anymore? This sounds like revenge by a swimmer who didn’t make it to the Olympics and who is miserable for the success of another young lady who did. I wait for my daughter at all of her activities and peek in at odd times, it’s the world we live. Parents, you can’t trust anybody, watch your kids, and be interested in them, don’t just drop them off and go.

MarkB
4 years 1 month ago

A CUBU MOM,

I applaud that you, “wait for my daughter at all of her activities and peek in at odd times, it’s the world we live.” Was this the world in 1984? Do you also peek into hotel rooms, coaches bathrooms, etc. that you would have no idea your daughter would be in? Also, you sound pretty callous passing this off as, “revenge by a swimmer who didn’t make it to the Olympics and who is miserable for the success of another young lady who did.” Wow!

MarylandSwimmer
4 years 1 month ago

Wow CUBU Mom – I hope nothing as horrific ever happens to one of your kids, since your reaction would be “sounds like revenge by a swimmer who didn’t make it to the Olympics and who is miserable for the success of another young lady who did.” Easy to see why victims have difficulty coming forward with that kind of attitude with which to contend.

Becky
4 years 1 month ago

CUBU Mom. Are you serious? “Miserable by the success of one who did”. She was raped by Rick Curl starting at the age of 13. She has Olympic dreams and had her parents not stepped up and ended the affair immediately after discovery, she may have made it to the Olympics. She is a victim of this pervert and CUBU. Maybe your daughter wouldn’t be “miserable” if she was raped by her coach and her dreams dashed. This is Rick Curl’s fault and the sickos right up there with him that have known about it for years.

This did happen as evidenced by the settlement agreement. Pervert pedophiles don’t sign agreements and pay money for crimes they didn’t commit.

Alex H
4 years 1 month ago

Well If this was filed In open court, he could loose. Even If he were inocent. And he would always loose in public opinion. Micheal Jackson did not loose his case, but is still seen as a rapist in most of the world. So seeing it in those terms I understand why non-disclosure was chosen, even if he were not guilty.

We have journal from a teenage girl and her word against his. That is not good enough in a court of law.. Is it?

The damage is now done, guilty or not he has lost his legacy.
If she is pressing charges I hope she good evidence, and wins! if she releases a book in the next few months I am going to Extremely disappointed.

MarkB
4 years 1 month ago

ISWAM,

You say this, “If it was my child no amount of money or advise would stop me from pursuing it legally.” What would you do if your child was beyond distraught and begging you not to make this public. She’s crying and ashamed (and had been treated for an eating disorder), though it’s not her fault. Would you then pursue this legally? Or would you make him pay somehow, legally, without you going to jail, too?

Old timer
4 years 1 month ago

Actually my child was molested by a swim coach. We went to the police who did a poor job of investigating. We went to the school and they lawyered up and let the offender resign. Also, the head swim coach kicked my child off the team. Rumors were flying … About my child. We finally had to stop trying to pursue justice and focus on treating my child which was expensive and time consuming.

Since the offending coach had been allowed to resign he was able to become a foster parent and eventually arrested for molesting a child in his care. The head coach was promoted to athletic director.

80'sswimmer
4 years 1 month ago

Sorry to hear that, Oldtimer. That is sad, that people spread rumors about your child instead of showing empathy. And that goes to show what happens when the predators are not put in jail or banned from working with children…it continues.

4 years 1 month ago

This is very sad to hear. I swam for Rick back in the mid ’90s. Its never a good thing when someone is abused!!

SwimMom
4 years 1 month ago

I am the parent of a 10 year old swimmer who has swam for Curl Burke for 3 years. This is the second coach from that swim club to be accused of such allegations in less than a month. If these allegations turn out to be true, and USA swimming knew about them before being contacted by the press, there should be significant and severe punishment (Penn State as an example). The problem is, I’m sure this is not the only club where such indecencies have occurred.

Bryan
4 years 1 month ago

Swimmom – former curl member here. Who was the other coach?

Billy
4 years 1 month ago

This is just ducky. The Olympics start in two days with swimming being the first glamour sport with finals starting on Saturday and the viewing public gets to read about this awful story.

How the heck is the sport of swimming going to grow if we have to read this stuff? I’m not saying this story should be put under the rug either. No parent will want their kids to swim on a team.

I’m fed up with this stuff.

MarkB
4 years 1 month ago

DUCKY,

Are you fed up with what’s happening or reading about it? You say, “How the heck is the sport of swimming going to grow if we have to read this stuff?” How are we to grow as human beings if we don’t? We need to hear it, and act on it, or it will never change.

Billy
4 years 1 month ago

I’m fed up with both!

The Olympics are approaching and all we hear about is Jerry Sandusky who is a monster, Penn State coverup which is almost worse and this Rick Curl mess.

It’s depressing as h*ll!

I hope and pray nothing bad happens at the Olympics ala Munich 1972, but I would not be shocked.

I want some good news asap!

anothermom
4 years 1 month ago

WOW – Penn State is getting crucified for the very same things that are here. the post by Billy sickens me the most. So it might hurt the view of our sport (might hurt Penn State) so let’s not deal with the issue now. We have a reputation to uphold. Shameful! If this man stands accused (not convicted), then there must be an investigation. USA Swimming should be the first to step in (second after the parents) and so must the club. When will people learn?

Brian
4 years 1 month ago

Your logic is flawed. There are markedly different problems between Penn State and Curl-Burke Swim Club. Let me address them one by one:

1) It does not affect the view of the sport. Just like the incident at Penn State does not affect Football in any means.

2)”USA Swimming should be the first to step in (second after the parents) and so must the club. When will people learn?”

This matter was settled in the courts first. Currin did not go to USA Swimming, nor did her parents. They went to the courts, where they decided (wrongly) to settle with an NDA for money.

At that point there was no precedent for such actions, and people were much more trusting of institutions in the 1980s.

You cannot go around accusing people of rape and molestation simply because of hearsay and rumor. There needs to be either direct evidence or witness. That is high grounds for libel and defamation of character. Especiall in this day and age where people are wrongly viewed as guilty until prove innocent in the eyes of the media.

3) The primary difference between this and Penn State is that a) It was not done for gain of an athletic institution, but for the primary purpose of self-preservation of an individual, and b)This matter had been completely settled in the courts, and the NDA legally prevented anyone who was actually involved from speaking about it and notifying USA Swimming.

Sadly, the fault is on the parents – if they had notified USA Swimming first before settling the NDA, then maybe things would be quite different.

MarkB
4 years 1 month ago

BRIAN,

Your first comment is, “1) It does not affect the view of the sport.” I would argue that it does. Sandusky was not raping college football players (I doubt that would have gone over well). Curl and the other coaches were raping SWIMMERS. It affects the view of the sport as in “Swimming is a f*cked sport with coaches that prey on young swimmers.” You would be naive to say that some people do not have that thought.

Brian
4 years 1 month ago

One would also be naive to care what every single person thinks about them or their sport.

There are track and field coaches that have been arrested for relationships with their athletes too. It happens at all sports, at all levels. One would be foolish to think that swimming is any different. It’s unfortunate.

Someone who thinks that, well, I already know that I’m above their intelligence level, and that they aren’t worth listening to, if that’s how they generalize things in life.

Becky
4 years 1 month ago

1. They did not go to court. They negotiated between attorneys.

2. Notify USA Swim? Did you read her statement as to their current response or should I say lack there of? I can’t even imagine what it would have been 20 years ago.

Lane 4 Imaging
4 years 1 month ago

So if this is true, and I have no reason to disbelieve her, where are Montgomery County’s finest? The investigation is being conducted by USA Swimming? Isn’t this a felony crime? When do the police become involved?

Very Concerned
4 years 1 month ago
80'sswimmer
4 years 1 month ago

Taking another angle…I’m tired of the press accusing parents of being “overprotective”, “helicopter parents”. This is exactly why there is nothing wrong with being protective — to account for your kids’ time at all times. I wish it weren’t that way but it is, because stories like this are all too common. My HS swim coach, in fact, was known to have “hooked up” with one girl on the team and another HS girl (in the 80’s). I told my mom recently, and she was shocked. But my mom was never around….she was working all the time and I got rides home from practice late, and witnessed certain things in the pool office (by mistake).

USA Swimming parents, it IS ok to be protective. I know of clubs that don’t allow parents to watch practice, ever. This is not in accordance with the new USA Swimming protocols.

I feel for Kelley, whose life was forever changed. By the way, excellent that she was still able to get 7th place in Olympic Trials — even with an eating disorder and going thru this abuse. Highly commendable…but bet she did not reach her potential. The $150K settlement is NOTHING compared to legal and medical bills. Her life, and her parents’ lives were forever changed, and she was robbed of a normal teenage childhood. Kelley, we understand and feel for you, and hope you are healing even as this resurfaces. Please know that you are helping many other young children.

Rick Curl and Noah Rucker are not guilty, everyone is innocent until proven guilty with physical evidence in a court of law. Stop convicting these two and anyone based on written and verbal complaints by an accuser. No person should be accused publicly anyway nor convicted by the accuser or their attys or the media. Realize that this person admitted to lying to her parents, to the courts, to the media, and is probably seeking money, fame, and malicious ruin of their coach. She never mentions her own fault in not saying if this happened and not voluntarily leaving the team and geographic area. She had many other pools closer to home to swim for so I think she and her parents may have targeted Curl for a future lawsuit. It does not seem credible that she says 4 years of intercourse and their is no physical evidence. She claims her parents, and friends and the disclosure as physical proof, which it isnt. It is possible Rick Curl never had sex with her but maybe babysat her overnight or promised her to get her into the Olympics. She should be banned from all CUBU pools. Will CUBU members please get her name off all CUBU sites and her banned from CUBU pools? She has no character. She claims to be married with 4 kids so why is she embarrassing erself, her parents, her sister, her job, her hjusband and kids? Like the slime atty she is harrassing CUBU and Curl and seeking fame and money. If she had real feelings for Curl and her self and family and real ethics she never would have made this matter a public stink and never seek punishment. Mutual sex consent is not a crime. I believe she and the accuser of Michael Jackson and John Travolta are all for fame, money and revenge. Notice the same attys in many fake accuser’s. Do not assume any person who is accused in private or public is automatically guilty. Many accused like Curl and Rucker and Travolta choose not to fight the accusers publicly nor to make public comments to the media or to ther fans and supporters. Give them the benefit of doubt. SwimSwam staff or the above people’s accusers may be accused next. Also swimswam and many sites siding with the accusers have refused to run my statements of support and many other statements of support. It is possible Curl and other falsely accused tried to fight the media and the media refused to run their side of the story. Support the accused and let the police and courts handle judicial matters. I suggest getting rid of NCAA, USA Swimming and other orgs authority to try to be be the judge. Demand Currin be charged with violating NDA disclosure and repay all plus $10 million fine and her attys and parents also. CUBU please support Curl and Rucker and ask them to rejoin CUBU and fight for them until they are cleared. All media – stop being biased. I suggest people publicize wrong doings accusations against media staff and see how they like it. Rick, Noah we loave you and support you both! Do not resign or retire. Fight false charges and false biased media. You both will win!

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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