Years before he was branded a molester, Pinewood Preparatory School allegedly ordered teacher Louis "Skip" ReVille to seek counseling to deal with his penchant for spending time with young boys.
That's a claim made in court papers filed Monday as part of a lawsuit against Pinewood and its former headmaster, Glyn Cowlishaw. A former student is suing them for negligence, alleging they failed to protect him from ReVille's advances.
The student's amended complaint, which adds guidance counselor Brendan Diffley to the suit, accuses Pinewood of trying to cover up ReVille's fondness for young boys during his employment there, from 2002 to 2006. Pinewood officials have strongly denied the allegations.
The complaint alleges that ReVille, Cowlishaw and Diffley met in March 2004 to discuss a parent's complaint that ReVille had touched the groins of multiple male students at Pinewood.
The three later signed an agreement in which ReVille pledged he would not spend extracurricular time with students or allow them to visit his home without school and parental permission, the lawsuit states. The agreement also stated that "Pinewood does not accept Mr. ReVille spending time with individual students out of regular school hours without express parental permission."
Cowlishaw allegedly met with ReVille on subsequent occasions to discuss ReVille's spending time with young boys, and Pinewood mandated that ReVille seek counseling as a condition of continued employment, the suit states. ReVille reportedly received that counseling.
The suit also cites a 2005 note ReVille authored indicating that a parent had complained to the administration about his conduct at the school, specifically that "I join students for dinner and they come over to the house and so on."
Motley Rice attorneys David Hoyle and Laura Khare, who represent the alleged victim and another alumnus suing the school, would not say in what context ReVille authored the note or what specific evidence they have that Pinewood sent ReVille to counseling.
Pinewood attorney Alice Paylor said the alleged counseling mandate is news to her clients.
"We don't know what they are talking about in regard to that," she said.
In a recent court filing, Pinewood also referenced the March 2004 meeting about the parent's complaint against ReVille.
Pinewood's version, however, was that the mother did not like that ReVille weaved religion into his lessons or that he squeezed the boy's knee in what ReVille termed a "flinch test," a game he supposedly learned at The Citadel, they said.
Pinewood officials have said the mother hired ReVille for private tutoring without the school's knowledge. The mother consented to the agreement signed by ReVille and Pinewood officials, and she requested that ReVille continue to tutor her son as a "positive influence in his life," Pinewood's papers state.
The school and Cowlishaw have repeatedly denied the allegations in the former students' lawsuits and insisted they knew nothing about any improprieties on ReVille's part. Dr. James Mann, chairman of the school's board of trustees, has called the complaints "unfounded and without merit."
The amended complaint filed Monday adds new allegations to a December lawsuit by a former student known only as John Doe. He alleges Pinewood's inaction allowed the since admitted molester to abuse him on as many as 15 occasions beginning in 2004 when he was 12.
During this time, ReVille showed the boy pornography, masturbated in front of him and exposed him to sexually abusive behavior at ReVille's home, the suit states.
A second suit, filed in January, alleges similar behavior against another boy, who was also 12 when the abuse began in 2003. ReVille also allegedly fondled the victim and at least two other boys during after-school tutoring sessions in his classroom, the lawsuit states.
ReVille, 32, held multiple teaching, coaching and volunteer positions in the Charleston area. He was arrested Oct. 28 in Mount Pleasant.
He now stands accused of molesting 22 boys in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties. Some of those victims attended Pinewood, authorities said.
Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556 or on Twitter at @glennsmith5.
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