Pinewood Preparatory School has filed court papers denying a lawsuit’s claims that the private academy covered up molestation by former teacher Louis “Skip” ReVille.
The Summerville school filed the papers Monday in Dorchester County denying allegations of wrongdoing contained in a suit filed in December on behalf of a former student identified only as John Doe.
The lawsuit is one of two Pinewood and its former headmaster, Glyn Cowlishaw, faces in connection with ReVille, who worked as a teacher and coach at the school between 2002 to 2006. Both suits were filed by the Motley Rice law firm on behalf of former students.
The chairman of Pinewood’s board of trustees, Dr. James Mann, issued the following statement:
“I’m confident that Pinewood, Glyn Cowlishaw, nor any officer, or employee of the school, had any knowledge or was aware of any wrongdoing regarding the allegations in the ongoing criminal probe of Skip ReVille.
“These complaints are unfounded and without merit. Mr. ReVille was terminated solely for his failure to teach at the academic level that we expect from our teaching staff and is expected by the families who have sent their children to Pinewood for more than 60 years. Those who claim that Mr. ReVille was terminated for any other reasons are misleading and wrong. The Pinewood staff will continue to cooperate with criminal investigators and provide information as requested by police.”
In the December lawsuit, John Doe accuses the school of failing to protect him from sexual abuse. The former student, now a young adult, alleges he was subjected to “sexually abusive behaviors” by ReVille on as many as 15 occasions while in seventh and eighth grade, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges that ReVille had young male students over to his house on multiple occasions, and that the boys sometimes spent the night there without another adult present.
The former student at the center of the lawsuit was 12 when the alleged abuse began in 2004, the suit states. ReVille was his basketball coach and English teacher. The boy was left alone with ReVille on campus, and they later traveled, dined and spent the night together. During this time, ReVille showed the boy pornography, masturbated in front of him and exposed him to sexually abusive behavior, the suit states.
The second suit, filed last month, involves a student identified as John Doe 2, who alleges he was 12 years old when ReVille began abusing him in August 2003. ReVille was the boy’s English teacher and tutored him after school in his classroom. During those sessions, ReVille allegedly touched the boy’s groin on several occasions and fondled at least two other boys as well, the lawsuit states.
A parent reportedly brought this to the attention of Pinewood, Cowlishaw and guidance counselor Brendan Diffley but they didn’t investigate the complaint or report it to police, as required by law, the lawsuit states.
During this time, the victim also visited ReVille’s home, where the admitted molester showed him pornography, masturbated in front of him and exposed him to “sexually abusive behavior,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit also accuses Cowlishaw of working to cover up a 2007 incident of sexual abuse involving a Pinewood student. That incident did not involve ReVille, the suit states.
ReVille, 32, held multiple teaching, coaching and volunteer positions in the Charleston area. He was arrested on Oct. 28 in Mount Pleasant and stands accused of molesting nine boys in that town. Police in Hanahan, Summerville and Charleston also are investigating ReVille’s actions, and authorities have indicated more charges are on the way.