ReVille victim details torment, anger, guilt
His jaw tensed and his eyes flashing anger, the young man turned toward Louis “Skip” ReVille and demanded his former mentor look him in the eye.
ReVille, a former coach and teacher, had his head down and eyes closed through much of the proceeding that followed his guilty plea Wednesday to molesting 23 boys in the Charleston area.
But this victim was having none of that.
“Mr. ReVille, you need to look up and look at me,” the young man, known only as John Doe 13, ordered in a quavering voice.
ReVille's head shot up as Circuit Court Judge R. Markley Dennis instructed the young man to direct his comments to the court, not his attacker. The young man apologized and complied, asking the judge a few minutes later to order ReVille to pay attention.
John Doe 13 had something to say about lost trust and the rippling damage caused by sexual abuse.
He met ReVille at The Citadel's summer camp when he was a young teen and idolized him. ReVille seemed brilliant. He led The Citadel's honor court and had won one of the military college's highest awards.
“I wanted to be him,” Doe said. “This is one of the most intelligent people I've ever met. I hate saying that because it made him so good at what he did.
“He could have been anything, and this is what he chose.”
ReVille took his time grooming the boy and waited two years before making sexual advances. He struck when the boy was 16, in 2003.
Doe said he buried the abuse for years and moved on with his life. But in his early 20s, he began to fall apart. He used cocaine and heroin to deaden the pain.
Things got so bad that in February, he made a failed attempt to hang himself with a noose.
Even now, he said, suicidal thoughts linger.
He's wracked with anxiety and shame. To this day, his parents don't even know.
He's also ripped with guilt for not reporting ReVille or saying anything when he saw other young boys march upstairs to watch porn and masturbate with his former mentor.
“Who rapes angels?” he asked. “That's what children are. Angels.”
The young man faced the audience with tears streaming down his face.
“I am so sorry,” he said. “I could have stopped this in 2003. … But I was just 16. I was too afraid. I didn't know what would happen, if I would get in trouble.”
Dennis and the attorneys in the room assured the young man that it wasn't his fault, that he had been the victim. Dennis praised his courage for coming forward and urged him to get into counseling, to get help.
“Find yourself some peace. You deserve it,” Dennis said. “Society needs you — big time.”
The young man uttered an audible “Hah!” when the judge sentenced ReVille to 50 years in prison. After watching deputies lead ReVille from the room in shackles, the young man walked off without another word.