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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 31, 2013/ 22 Sivan, 5773

When Coaching Lolita Becomes Child Abuse

By Suzanne Fields




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Lolita was 12 years old when Humbert Humbert first saw her with an obsession that could fill a book. "Lolita" became a best-selling novel about a perverted older man, a pubescent girl and a tragic tale of sexual abuse, dissected with the insights and illuminations of a brilliant writer.

But Lolita was a novel.

When such things happen in real life, we try to align the law with the act. The sports world was roiled by a similar scandal at Penn State. A coach was sent to prison for abusing boys, and one of the legends of college football was tarnished, probably permanently.

Dealing with such scandals isn't easy. It took Kelley Davies Currin, once one of the top swimmers in her sport, almost 30 years to summon the courage to tell authorities how Richard J. Curl, her coach on a suburban Washington team and a trainer of gold-medal athletes, began a sexual relationship with her when she was 13 years old. He was 33. The relationship continued for four years, until she was about to leave home for college. That was in 1987.

The lurid facts cover a multitude of sins, perpetuated by a man who had the responsibility of a child in his care. His task was to help a young woman reach for her dream, to become an Olympic competitor. Unlike the fictional Humbert Humbert, Curl was a real-life hero loved by the child he abused.

"I loved, trusted and cherished him as much as a young girl's heart and mind could," says Kelley, now 43, who has finally spoken out in newspapers and radio interviews, and in a Maryland courtroom.

As a girl, Currin pursued her dream at the Curl-Burke Swim Club in Washington, one of the largest amateur clubs in the nation, where many Olympic athletes have trained. The coach took her under his wing, and she says, "He had my ticket to being the swimmer that I wanted to be."

She enjoyed the attention he gave her in front of her teammates, the public hugs and kisses on the cheek that made the other girls watch with envy. But this didn't arouse her suspicions that it would lead to anything more. Suddenly, one of the hallway kisses turned passionate; he called her at home that night to tell her he was on "cloud nine." After the call, she "would have done anything he told me to do." And so she did.

He took her out for lobster at a chic Washington club and stayed overnight at her house -- he was often a guest of her parents -- and summoned her into his bed in the middle of the night. She learned "what it meant to be sexual with a man." Frequent sexual adventures followed, at her house, in his private school office, in hotel rooms when they were on the road to swimming meets.

When Michel Martin of NPR asked her whether she thought it was "right," she said it wouldn't have been "right" with boys. "But as a child, when you love somebody, when someone is so connected to you ... as in the coach-athlete relationship ... there were no boundaries. I just trusted him. ... If I ever had a problem at school, he would fix it. If I were late for this or that or the other, he would write a note. In a sense, he was God to me."

Her parents weren't suspicious, and she wasn't about to tell them. She thrived on the attention and power she enjoyed in competition with the other girls on the team. She didn't want it to end.

Then Mom and Dad read her diary. Soon, the coach once more sat at their kitchen table, and they confronted him. He confessed, but they didn't press criminal charges. The sexual relationship was over, and the coach paid them $150,000 and signed a letter testifying to what he did. Nobody seemed to worry that he would continue as a predator.

Kelley Currin says her parents were "naive" and rationalized the money. The media attention exposing him might harm their daughter, and the money would pay for therapy.

Last week, Curl pleaded guilty to child sex abuse in a Maryland courtroom and was sentenced to seven years in prison. Now Kelley, married and the mother of four, wants others to pay. She wants further scrutiny of USA Swimming, the governing body for competitive swimming. Congress created it, she says, and Congress should look more closely at the "culture that protects predator coaches." There have been several lawsuits against coaches and their behavior toward underage female swimmers.

Parents could pay closer attention, too. And the rest of us could look to the idolatry of sports heroes. It's not healthy.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate, Suzanne Fields

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