Friday, May 24, 2013

Problem of silence and coverups of coach abuse of young athletes

NY Times   A woman who was sexually abused as a teenager in the 1980s by a Hall of Fame swimming coach used the occasion of his sentencing Thursday to demand the departure of three leaders in USA Swimming who she said knew about the coach’s misconduct and failed to act.

For five years beginning when she was 13, the woman, Kelley Davies Currin, was sexually abused by Rick Curl, her coach on a suburban Washington team that he founded. On Thursday in Montgomery County Circuit Court in Maryland, Curl, 63, was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of child sexual abuse in February.

With her case against Curl concluded after three decades, Currin, 43, called for further investigation into actions that helped “create a culture that protects predator coaches and vilifies young victims.”

The issue of sexual misconduct by coaches has been percolating in the sport since at least the 1960s, but it rocketed to the surface in 2010. In a highly publicized case that year, Andrew King, then 62, was sentenced to 40 years in prison after pleading no contest to charges of molesting a 14-year-old girl who swam for him in San Jose, Calif., and two women he coached on other teams in the 1980s and 1990s. He was accused of molesting more than a dozen swimmers.[...]

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