The State Law Enforcement Division has been asked to investigate new allegations of sexually inappropriate conduct at The Citadel involving a former cadet who reportedly groped underclassmen.
Two cadets came forward last week to file police reports against a 23-year-old alumnus who graduated last year, according to campus police.
One cadet, age 21, told campus public safety officers that the suspect made unwelcome sexual advances toward him in the spring of 2010, when the cadet was a freshman.
Another cadet, also 21, told officers that the suspect groped and assaulted him on three occasions in February 2011, including a cadet trip to Washington, D.C., to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference.
The school notified SLED of the allegations, as it is required to do under the Jessica Horton Act, school spokeswoman Charlene Gunnells said. The school also notified cadets and staff last week that a recent graduate had been accused “of inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with cadets.”
SLED spokesman Kathryn Richardson said her agency had received The Citadel’s request for an investigation into the complaints, but she declined to comment further.
The allegations come at a time when The Citadel is still dealing with fallout from the crimes of child molester Louis “Skip” ReVille, a Citadel graduate and former lead counselor at the school’s summer camp.
The college failed to report a 2007 complaint from a former camper who accused ReVille of watching porn and masturbating with young boys at the camp five years earlier.
ReVille went on to molest dozens of children. He is serving a 50-year prison term after he pleaded guilty in June to molesting 23 boys in the greater Charleston area.
Last month, The Citadel hired two independent firms to investigate its handling of the ReVille episode.
The latest allegations concern cadets who said they were groped by an upperclassman whom they felt powerless to fight off due to their status as freshman “knobs” at the military college.
One cadet told police the suspect invited him to spend the night in his barracks room for a study session in April 2010. The cadet stated he felt uncomfortable with the arrangement, particularly after the suspect locked the door.
His unease increased when the suspect placed his hand near the cadet’s groin, a police report states.
When the cadet pulled away, the suspect reportedly told him “it was normal for guys to touch other guys like that” and that he and his friends gathered to watch porn and masturbate together, an incident report states.
Another cadet told campus police the suspect grabbed his face in an apparent effort to kiss him and pressed against his body during a 2011 meeting in the suspect’s barracks room.
Other cadets being mentored by the suspect arrived and addressed him as “Daddy,” the report stated. Both placed their heads on his shoulders, and he kissed them on the forehead, according to the report.
Police contacted both of those cadets last week, and they denied anything inappropriate had occurred, a police report states.
The complaint filed last week also described two incidents from the trip to Washington in February 2011 in which the suspect allegedly jumped on the cadet while he was sleeping in the hotel and acted in a sexually inappropriate manner, police said.
The cadet told police he told the suspect during the first attack; “I can’t hit a senior. I don’t know what to do.” The second time, he knocked the suspect off the bed, police said.
Other cadets witnessed both incidents, police said.
Natalie Caula contributed to this report. Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556 or Twitter.com/glennsmith5.
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