A lawsuit against The Citadel over sexual abuse committed at its defunct summer camp will go forward after a federal judge Thursday rebuffed the school's argument that the statue of limitations had run out on claims of negligence.
A former camper, now 25, is suing the military college, alleging it failed to protect him from abuse at the hands of former Marine Capt. Michael Arpaio, a Citadel graduate who volunteered at the camp, between 1998 and 2000.
U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel dismissed one claim in the suit that alleged The Citadel had violated the former camper's constitutional rights. The former camper had already agreed to withdraw other claims against the school for alleged sexual harassment, assault and battery and emotional harm.
The school was hoping to see the remainder of the case dismissed by arguing that the former camper's claims of negligence on The Citadel's part were reported too late to meet the statute of limitations.
Gergel, however, didn't buy that argument and allowed the claim to stand.
The former camper, whose name has not been released, alleges Arpaio sexually abused him as a child 21 separate times, according to court records.
The suit was filed in December 2013 and is one of two suits filed against the school regarding alleged incidents with Arpaio.
The Citadel previously paid out $3.8 million to settle claims from five other former campers that alleged abuse by Arpaio at the camp.
In 2003, Arpaio, then 29, pleaded guilty in military court to charges ranging from indecent assault to providing alcohol to minors. He was sentenced during a court-martial to 10 years of confinement, suspended to 15 months at the Navy brig in Hanahan, authorities said.
He's now serving a 12-year federal prison sentence for his role in a carjacking conspiracy that led to the death of a cocaine courier in Puerto Rico in 2008.
Reach Natalie Caula Hauff at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.