Chuck Wielgus, USA Swimming director, said the organization has "the highest levels of compassion and concern for abuse victims, but we also must adhere to deliberative processes for those being accused of inappropriate conduct." He highlighted the work of the organization to keep child athletes safe with the use of background checks, pre-employment screening, training and education.

Curran, Maryland's longtime attorney general, said he is confident that if he had learned of the abuse, he would remember. Mingle, the assistant attorney general at the time who now serves as counsel at Cornell University, said he, too, is sure he would not have forgotten such a significant situation.

Curran said that, under normal operating procedure, the attorney general's office would have reported such an incident to the local state's attorney for prosecution. The state's top prosecutor does have a criminal investigation unit, but attorneys there primarily handle fraud and bribery cases.

"That is how it would normally work," Curran said.

Multiple officials with the state's attorney's office in Montgomery County, which prosecuted Curl because the abuse of Currin took place there, could not be reached for comment Friday.

Curran, who retired in 2007 after a nearly 50-year political career, said he wouldn't find it unusual that a university would turn to the attorney general's office for guidance on a legal matter, because that office serves as top counsel to government agencies.

"Some of the most vulnerable in our population are young people who find themselves either in the custody of or being taught by or trained by those who are not doing the right thing," Curran said. "Protecting the most vulnerable among us has got to be a top priority for anyone in law enforcement."

The university declined to provide Curl's resignation letter, citing personnel confidentiality. Ullmann, the spokesman, said he had no knowledge of any written documentation from the attorney general's office in response to the university's briefing, and he didn't believe any records existed.

Information from the attorney general's office, which was closed Friday, wasn't immediately available.

Thomas Kelly, an attorney for Curl, said he had no knowledge of the actions the university took after Currin's parents alerted officials to the abuse. Curl was remanded to custody on Thursday after his sentencing hearing, and Kelly said he hasn't spoken to his client since.

"It's a tragic set of circumstances for everyone involved," he said. "There are no winners."

ywenger@baltsun.com

twitter.com/yvonnewenger