Under mounting pressure from the press and from an accuser’s lawyer, the Citadel released a 160-page document Monday afternoon detailing the sexual abuse allegations made by a Citadel summer camp attendee and his family in 2007. The school has come under fire in recent weeks for failing to report the case to police.
The weighty stack of paper, which was copied and redacted to protect the camper’s anonymity, contains an interview with a former camper regarding accusations of sexual abuse by Citadel graduate Louis “Skip” ReVille, who was working as a camp counselor in 2002 when the alleged incidents took place. ReVille is currently under investigation in a string of molestation cases involving 12- to 14-year-old boys. Before his arrest, he was an assistant headmaster and coach at Coastal Christian Preparatory School.
Half an hour before the school announced that it would publicize the document, Charleston attorney Mullins McLeod held a press conference in the lobby of the Citadel Alumni Center. He was representing the camper and his family, who he said had not decided yet to file a lawsuit. He promised to release a transcript of an interview about the alleged abuse between the camper and the Citadel’s general counsel, attorney Mark C. Brandenburg, if the school did not do so itself.
McLeod said that the internal probe conducted by the Citadel at the time the accusations surfaced was insufficient.
“Let me be clear that the Citadel investigating itself is no investigation at all,” McLeod said. He said the camper’s parents handed the case over to the administration with the understanding that the school would report it to police.
McLeod pointed to the S.C. state law that requires certain professionals to report potential cases of child abuse or neglect to the Department of Social Services (in cases of domestic abuse) or police (in all other cases).
But that law applies only to people in specific positions of authority, and it remains unclear whether any of the people privy to the ReVille case at the Citadel held those positions. The people required to report include school teachers, counselors, principals, assistant principals, and school attendance officers. Other people who work with children are encouraged — but not required — to report.
Citadel President Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa, who spoke to the press shortly after McLeod, said no one had been fired or asked to resign so far as a result of the handling of the case. He said that the 160-page interview transcript only came to his attention Friday night, and that members of his staff had presented the case to him as a matter of settlement and not a criminal investigation.
Rosa said that South Carolina sex abuse reporting laws were not in effect at the time the accusations surfaced in 2007, but the relevant section of law — Section 20-7-510(A) — was enacted in 1981, with a major expansion of the list of required reporters in 1996.
Regardless of legality or illegality, Rosa said the school had no excuse.
“When the family did not pursue the matter, we did not either. We should have,” said Rosa, who became president of the school in 2006.
Rosa also revealed that the camper had started attending the summer camp in the late ’90s. He said the camper returned for three consecutive summers after 2002, possibly as a counselor. He also said the camper’s father was a Citadel alumnus.
The school had been tight-lipped regarding specifics of the case until this weekend, when it sent out a press release detailing the gist of the accusation: that ReVille watched pornography with the accuser and one other camper in his room while they masturbated, but that they did not touch each other.
In addition to the interview transcript, the school released a copy of the 2002 summer camp yearbook, ReVille’s counselor application, camper enrollment paperwork, and internal correspondence about ReVille. City Paper will report more information after sifting through the papers.