Dorchester County’s top prosecutor said Monday he’s seen no evidence to suggest Pinewood Preparatory School shirked its duty and tried to cover up sexual abuse by serial molester Louis “Skip” ReVille.
First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe said a State Law Enforcement Division investigation found no proof that school officials failed to report inappropriate sexual activity by ReVille. The convicted molester taught at the elite private school in Summerville between 2002 and 2006.
Pascoe said he has told SLED verbally that he won’t be seeking criminal charges against anyone at the school in connection with the episode.
“There is no credible evidence whatsoever that anyone at Pinewood Prep had knowledge that Skip ReVille was secretly abusing children and, therefore, should have reported it,” Pascoe said.
Headmaster Steve Mandell said the school cooperated with authorities throughout the investigation and he is pleased Pascoe’s findings jibe with what Pinewood had been saying all along.
“He is supporting what we have asserted the whole time: there was no wrongdoing by any member of the Pinewood staff,” he said. “Now, we will continue to focus our thoughts and prayers on the victims and their families.”
ReVille, who is serving a 50-year prison sentence for molesting 23 boys around the Lowcountry, sought to cast blame on others, including Pinewood, after his arrest in 2011, Pascoe said.
ReVille, 33, told investigators that former headmaster Glyn Cowlishaw confronted and reprimanded him for inappropriate sexual activity with a minor child.
Cowlishaw maintained he confronted ReVille about “inappropriate social behavior,” including being too friendly with a student and spending too much time outside of class with the boy, Pascoe said.
Pascoe said school records and other statements obtained by SLED support Cowlishaw’s account of the episode.
Cowlishaw and the then-head of Pinewood’s English department, Amy Huddock, told investigators ReVille was reprimanded for matters associated with his teaching style, performance and his failure to return graded material to students in a timely manner, Pascoe said.
The only witness supporting ReVille’s version of events is ReVille, “and he’s about as non-credible as you can get,” Pascoe said. “He was trying to lay blame elsewhere for his own actions.”
ReVille, who was hired as an English teacher in 2002, left Pinewood in May 2006 after his contract was not renewed. He then cycled through nearly a dozen coaching, teaching and church posts throughout the region, picking up new victims along the way.
While Pinewood officials are not facing criminal charges, the school must still contend with lawsuits filed by two former students. The students are suing the school, Cowlishaw and guidance director Brendan Diffley for negligence, alleging they failed to protect the boys from ReVille’s advances.
Motley Rice attorney David Hoyle, who represents the former Pinewood students, declined to comment Monday on Pascoe’s findings.
Natalie Caula contributed to this report. Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556 or Twitter.com/glennsmith5.