There is only one authentic villain here. It’s always that way with a child molester. In State College, Pa., or the Lowcountry, or Bangkok.
Still, we as a community committed to protecting children owe the 23 victims of Louis “Skip” ReVille — and future targets of other monsters — an aggressive pursuit of truth. Then the experts at places such as Darkness to Light and The Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center can get to work translating answers into prevention concepts.
Sadly, Penn State and interested parties have lapped The Citadel in the release of molestation reports.
Joe McCulloch, a special counsel hired by The Citadel, said Friday that a ReVille report commissioned by the school and including two investigative firms is due in late March. There was a cost-cutting delay with a switch from one investigative firm to another.
Criminal investigations led to a previous stall.
It’s been 15 months since Citadel president John Rosa admitted the school “lost public trust” in the ReVille matter.
It’s time to arrange for some report production overtime.
How about working weekends?
The ReVille case, which authorities insist includes more victims than those willing to cooperate with police, deserves the most pressing attention. It was the worst Lowcountry story not involving death in at least 20 years.
In Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky scandal, the former defensive coordinator was convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys. Legendary head coach Joe Paterno and school president Graham Spanier were fired as the case was unfolding; Paterno died less than three months later.
Within the same few weeks the Sandusky story broke in the fall of 2011, popular youth coach Skip ReVille was arrested in Mount Pleasant. Later sentenced to 50 years in prison for molesting 23 boys, ReVille’s trail of torment was traced to a 2007 complaint about his inappropriate conduct with a kid while working as a Citadel summer camp counselor in 2002.
Both universities promised outside investigations.
Penn State’s official report, conducted by former FBI Director Louis Freeh and released in July, led to the NCAA’s decision to ban the Nittany Lions from bowl games for four years and cut more than 40 scholarships.
The Paterno Report, issued last week, was commissioned by the family of the tarnished coach. It’s either a self-serving waste of effort or a fair rebuttal to Freeh.
At least it’s something.
We still have nothing,
Pinewood and CCSD
It is important to repeat that ReVille was not affiliated with The Citadel’s athletic department. Though civil suits have been filed against The Citadel for its handling of the ReVille matter, the school has said it was unaware of illegal behavior on ReVille’s part.
But he did go on to become, among other things, a teacher, Bible study leader and school administrator while coaching various sports year-round.
The estimated cost of The Citadel-commissioned report is $364,000 and will come from The Citadel Trust, not state funds.
We shouldn’t be looking for heads or careers on a platter here.
But we must demand honest insight into what went wrong along a horrible path on which a molester jumped from job to job without detection.
Or, worse, without warning.
Then maybe we can get some answers from ReVille’s early teaching years at Pinewood Prep, and find out how he came to lead a middle school basketball team in the Charleston County School District and find better jobs after that. And so on.
ReVille is the only villain here. But the sooner a thorough Citadel report comes out, the faster prevention experts can apply new awareness and prevention lessons.
Reach Gene Sapakoff at 937-5593 or on Twitter