Olympic swim coach Rick Curl to plead guilty -- Gazette.Net


This story was corrected at 5:15 p.m. Feb. 5, 2013. An explanation follows.

Longtime Olympic swim coach Richard Jay Curl has agreed to plead guilty to a charge of child sexual abuse in Montgomery County Circuit Court.

He is scheduled in court at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 21 before Judge Marielsa Bernard.

Curl was arrested and charged with child sexual abuse in August after Kelley Currin told The Washington Post that she and Curl, her former swim coach, had sexual relations during a four-year period in the 1980s, beginning when she was 13 and he was 33.

The Memorandum for a Plea Agreement was filed with the court Feb. 4, although it does not become official until accepted by a judge.

Curl faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail because the charges occurred when child sexual abuse had a much lesser penalty. The penalty for the same charge today would carry a maximum of 25 years in jail.

The alleged abuse took place in various locations in Montgomery County, including Curl’s former residences in Rockville and Darnestown, and the swimming facilities at the Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, The Gazette previously reported. Curl, 63, now lives in Lovettsville, Va.

In the months after his arrest, Curl was banned by USA Swimming, the body that governs competitive swimming in this country. Curl voluntarily agreed to give up his USA Swimming membership.

Curl was the coach of Olympic medalist Tom Dolan and was the founder of the hugely successful Curl-Burke Swim Club, that operated sites in Bethesda and Gaithersburg in Montgomery County. That club is now operating under a new name, Nation’s Capital Swim Club, and ownership after the allegations against Curl surfaced.

Editor’s note: The story originally said the plea was entered. Curl is expected to enter his plea on Feb. 21.