Federal judge allows one count of a suit against Citadel president
Two counts of a suit against Citadel President John Rosa relating to the Skip ReVille child sex abuse scandal were dismissed Friday by a federal judge, but a third count alleging violation of due process was allowed to stand.
District Judge Richard Mark Gergel granted motions to dismiss allegations against Rosa of supervisory liability and civil conspiracy. However, he denied the defendant’s request to dismiss the plaintiff’s claim that his constitutional right to due process was violated.
In his decision, Gergel referenced the report on the Penn State University child sex abuse scandal prepared by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, who harshly criticized the university for failing to protect against a child sexual predator.
“The Freeh Report is an indication to the Court that Plaintiff’s claim that Defendant had a professional duty to report the Reville allegations is, at least at this stage of the litigation, plausible,” he wrote.
The suit, brought by a plaintiff identified as John Doe 2, alleges that after the employment of Louis “Skip” ReVille by The Citadel as a camp counselor and staff member, the plaintiff was sexually assaulted as a minor by Reville on multiple occasions.
“The meat of the complaint is going forward, which means that President Rosa and The Citadel are going to answer for what happened in these cases. The victim deserves for The Citadel to be held accountable,” said Mullins McLeod, attorney for the plaintiff.
“The families are obviously pleased with the court ruling as they think it’s an accurate reflection of the law,” McLeod said.
Dawes Cooke, attorney for The Citadel, said in an e-mailed statement, “While still in the early stages of these cases, we are very encouraged that at his very first opportunity Judge Gergel threw out two of the three claims.
“He did so based on the utter lack of merit of the claims, without even the need to hear evidence. On the remaining claim Judge Gergel made clear he was not rendering a judgment on their merits and that the plaintiffs will have a very difficult time making a case that will stand up in court,” Cooke said.
In June, Circuit Judge Markley Dennis sentenced ReVille to 50 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to molesting 23 boys in the Charleston area.
The suit alleges that ReVille, a Citadel alumnus, was employed as a camp counselor by The Citadel for a summer program in 2002 and sexually abused young boys participating in the program.
It alleges that Reville confessed in 2002 to The Citadel Public Safety Department that he had sexually assaulted young boys, but no action was taken in response to that report.
The suit claims that in 2007 Rosa received a report from a former camper and his family that the camper had been sexually abused while attending The Citadel summer camp program in 2002.
It goes on to allege that Rosa sent the university’s in-house attorney to investigate the claim at the same time ReVille had begun working for The Citadel again.
After he learned about the complaint of the young camper, another camper known to the young man and possibly other campers, Rosa undertook a plan as part of a conspiracy to conceal the abuse, the suit alleges. Gergel dismissed that allegation.