A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Citadel president John Rosa and the school's general counsel, Mark Brandenburg, filed by parents of a boy who was abused by serial molester Louis "Skip" ReVille.
The parents had alleged that the pair covered up a 2007 complaint concerning sexually inappropriate behavior by ReVille with multiple children at the school's summer camp, where he served as a counselor. They alleged that this allowed ReVille to go forward and molest other children, including their son - a claim the school has strongly refuted.
U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel ruled that the parents lacked standing to sue because they did not suffer direct damages as a result of ReVille's actions. They also didn't allege that Rosa or Brandenburg intentionally did anything with the aim of harming their relationship with their son, the judge determined.
The Citadel itself is now the lone defendant in the suit, which Gergel sent back to the state courts for consideration.
Dawes Cooke, an attorney for the military college, said the judge followed established case law and made the right decision. "General Rosa and Mark Brandenburg are appreciative of the court's attention to the case," he said.
Gregg Meyers, the parents' lawyer, could not immediately be reached for comment today.
The parents, identified in the suit only as Father John Doe 201 and Mother John Doe 201, alleged in the lawsuit that ReVille sexually abused their son multiple times between 2009 and 2011 while he was providing the boy with athletic supervision.
The boy had no relationship with The Citadel, Cooke said.
But the parents contended that abuse occurred, in part, because the school, Rosa and Brandenburg failed to report the 2007 complaint from a former camper, who claimed he was present for a porn and masturbation session in ReVille's room. The matter was shelved after an in-house investigation by Brandenburg and never reported to police.
The episode has been a central part of seven lawsuits filed against the school or its officials in connection with ReVille's abuse at the summer camp. The Citadel has acknowledged it could have handled things better, but school officials insist they never intentionally kept any information about ReVille concealed.
ReVille is serving a 50-year prison term after pleading guilty in 2012 to molesting 23 boys in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties.