Past student of swim coach waits 30 years to make sex abuse claim
An out-of-state criminal case is worth sharing on our Colorado Springs criminal defense blog because it is somewhat disconcerting. A popular swim coach in Maryland has been charged with sexual assault of a child due to events that allegedly happened decades ago.
The defendant’s supposed victim, now 43 years old, claims that an inappropriate sexual relationship began between her and her former coach when she was 13 and continued for several years. What bewilders some about this case is why the woman has come forward now, about 30 years after the alleged abuse took place.
In response to the rape allegation, the 63-year-old defendant turned himself in, was charged with one count of felony sex abuse and then was let out on bond. His attorneys assert that the coach is a “good person” and claim that other families and swimmers who have worked with him would back up that standing.
Sex crime allegations tend to have an especially significant effect on a person’s reputation and career. The defendant, who’s been a coach for decades and co-founded his own swim club, has lost his position and is barred from any involvement with USA Swimming. If the child abuse allegations are false, the defendant will have had to pay a high price.
Of course we will not assume guilt one way or the other regarding this particular defendant. We will follow the case and post updates when there are new developments.
Those in positions working with children, particularly men, can’t be careful enough to avoid misunderstandings and allegations related to sexual abuse. Claims of any sort of sexual misconduct can quickly impact a suspect’s life, even before there has been time for a trial.
Source: The Washington Post, “Swim coach Rick Curl charged in long-ago abuse of young swimmer,” Michael Laris and Debbi Wilgoren, Oct. 25, 2012