Society

Swim Coach Richard J. Curl Sentenced for Sexually Abusing Girl for Four Years

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A swim coach for young people in Washington has been sentenced to prison after he sexually abused a girl for four years in the '80s. 

Richard J. Curl was a coach for USA Swimming and is known as one of the top coaches in the nation. He has coached many swimmers that turned out to have successful careers in the sport, including Olympic champion Tom Dolan.

Though he had pleaded with the girl to keep quiet about the ordeal, even going so far as to give her family a financial compensation deal, the girl decided to press charges on him last year.

Curl, 63, pleaded guilty to the charges. The girl was 13 at the time the abuse started, and had fallen in love with him as she believed he was going to marry her one day.

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This judge looked an inmate square in the eyes and did something that left the entire courtroom in tears:

"Every day of my life has been spent thinking and feeling awful about my behavior," he said in court.

Most cases of sexual abuse do not make the name of the victim public, but Kelley Davies Currin decided to make herself known as she wants to draw attention to the way people reacted to her abuse.

She is calling for an investigation into USA Swimming, as she said many protected the coach even though they knew he was abusing her.

Currin said his manipulation and abuse led her towards alcohol abuse and an eating disorder.

"I loved, trusted and cherished him as much as a young girl's heart and mind could," she said.

He has been sentenced to seven years in jail, but could have faced up to 15 years if it were not for his defense team.

The man's lawyers said he has reformed and is a good person.

"Rick Curl is a good man. He is a devoted father and husband. Over the last 30 years, he has successfully coached hundreds of young men and women, many of whom have achieved successful collegiate and professional swimming careers," they said in a statement.

"When the allegations were made public, many of the swimmers and their families reached out to us to offer their support and to reiterate that Rick was an excellent coach, a good person, and a man that provided them and their children with strong moral leadership."

Sources: Inquisitr, CBS