The Washington Post published a powerful essay by Danielle Bostick, who recently came to remember that she was sexually assaulted by her swimming coach, Christopher Huott, beginning when she was 7-years-old and Huott moved into her house. Bostick writes of hearing about the Rick Curl case in 2013, a case involving a swimming coach from the D.C. area who was charged and later convicted of sexually abusing a girl he had coached in 1986. Hearing news of Curl’s arrest, Bostick says: “I felt unsettled, but wasn’t sure why.” She did not identify herself at the time as a victim of her own coach.Within a year of hearing about the Curl case, Bostick approached the police with what she described as “little more than memory fragments and a gut feeling that I had been abused” by her own swimming coach, Christopher Huott.
The police arranged for a monitored telephone call to Houtt. As she described it, “for nearly two hours, [Houtt] confessed to abuse more horrifying than I had imagined or feared.” Huott was later charged with abusing Bostick; he eventually pleaded guilty to one felony count of child abuse and was sentenced to 10 years. Bostick’s case involves repeated sexual abuse that she had forgotten entirely and that was more than corroborated by the perpetrator. This case cannot be written off as “normal forgetting.” By all appearances, it is a corroborated case of recovered memory of severe childhood sexual abuse that occurred over a period of years.