A mother’s lawsuit against The Citadel over molester Skip ReVille was dismissed before the jury could hear opening arguments Tuesday morning.
The woman, identified only as Mother Doe A, claimed ReVille never would have molested her son and caused the family emotional distress if The Citadel had not covered up his crimes while he was a camp counselor there several years earlier, so the school owed her damages for her suffering.
Responding to a motion for summary judgment from Citadel attorneys, Judge Markley Dennis ruled that state law allows victims to sue but not parents of victims.
The ruling came after most of Monday was spent picking a jury. It would have been the first lawsuit concerning ReVille’s behavior to make it to trial.
ReVille allegedly molested the victim on numerous occasions in 2007 and 2008 when the boy was less than 16 years old, according to the suit.
The son also filed suit, and his case is also scheduled for trial, as well as several other victims, according to the plaintiff’s attorney, Gregg Meyers, formerly of Charleston and now living in St. Paul, Minn. There will be plenty of opportunity to expose what Citadel officials knew and didn’t report when those cases go to trial, he said.
“So far no one has held The Citadel accountable,” he said after the ruling. “It’s time for them to be accountable.”
Dawes Cooke, an attorney for The Citadel, said he preferred not to comment as long as the case is open for appeal. Citadel officials have maintained they never hid anything.
Gergel dismissed a suit against Citadel President John Rosa and the school’s general counsel, Mark Brandenburg, in May. In that case also, he ruled that the parents who brought the suit lacked standing for legal action.
The plaintiff has 30 days to appeal the latest ruling. Meyers said an appeal would depend on whether it takes time away from the other pending suits.
ReVille was a senior counselor at a Citadel summer camp in 2002, where he got naked, watched porn and masturbated with several of the boys. He continued molesting boys at Pinewood Preparatory School, where he was a teacher, and several other positions as coach, teacher and Bible study leader over the next few years.
In 2007, a former camper told Citadel officials that ReVille had watched porn and masturbated with him, but the complaint never became public and ReVille continued working with boys.
His deeds were finally exposed in the fall of 2011 through complaints of more former victims.
Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.