Former swimming coach Rick Curl turned himself in to Montgomery County police Thursday morning on a charge that he abused one of his students.
Curl, 63, of Vienna, Va., founder of the suburban Washington Curl-Burke Swim Club, allegedly began to sexually abuse his victim when she was 13 in the early 1980s, police said. The sexual abuse progressed from inappropriate touching to a sexual relationship while the victim was age 15 to 18.
Police said the abuse occurred throughout Montgomery County, including Curl's former residences in Rockville and Darnestown and the swimming facilities at the Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda. Curl coached the victim when she was nine to 19 years old, police said.
Curl was banned for life from USA Swimming in September and his club was renamed the Nation's Capital Swim Club. Among its swimmer are Olympians, including Katie Ledecky of Bethesda. She won a gold medal in this year's London games.
The Washington Post reported earlier this year that Curl agreed in 1989 to pay the family of his victim $150,000 over 11 years for "pain and suffering." The victim, who is now 43, had not pressed charges, under the nondisclosure agreement between her family and Curl.
Montgomery County Police began investigating the case in July, the same month the initial newspaper article was published. Police interviewed the victim on Aug. 15.
Police issued an arrest warrant for Curl on Tuesday. He was charged with one count of child abuse related to his supervision of the victim as her coach.
The arrest comes in the weeks after USA Swimming revealed an allegation of "inappropriate conduct" in 1975 between a female swimmer and a long-time coach at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club. The coach allegedly involved resigned last year after the woman reported the alleged abuse to the club.
The woman left an anonymous message in August 2010 with USA Swimming, but the Colorado-based organization said its attempts to investigate the allegation at that time were not successful because the woman left very few details and could not be reached for follow-up questions.
The Baltimore club has produced several Olympians, including Michael Phelps.
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