Citadel denies FOIA request

The Citadel has denied a Freedom of Information request for details of a 2007 complaint against accused molester Louis "Skip" ReVille, saying law enforcement has asked the school to stay quiet about the incident.

Citadel officials said the lead agency in the case, Mount Pleasant police, asked them to withhold the information. But police denied making such a request.

The Post and Courier has repeatedly requested details of a 2007 complaint by a youth camper who accused ReVille of inappropriate behavior while he was senior counselor at the camp. School officials said the complaint did not concern physical contact, but they won't provide specifics about the incident, which reportedly occurred in 2002.

"The Citadel has been asked for 'written complaints' related to the 2002 incident at The Citadel Summer Camp, as well as 'investigative documents, emails, other written correspondence, and any other materials tied to the incident,' " Jeff Perez, the school's vice president of external affairs said in a written statement Wednesday. "The Citadel has been contacted by law enforcement involved in the ongoing investigation, though, and has been asked not to release any other information related to that incident. The Citadel will honor that request at this time."

But Mount Pleasant police Capt. Stan Gragg said his department didn't tell The Citadel to sit on the information. "We can't," he said. "We have no jurisdiction over them."

Mount Pleasant police have charged ReVille, 32, with molesting five adolescent boys whom he coached in the town, and investigators have indicated that more charges are coming. As a coach and educator, the 2002 Citadel graduate had access to hundreds of children across the Lowcountry over the past decade.

The Citadel has indicated that it investigated the 2007 allegation and discussed the situation with the camper's family, but did not pursue the allegations further.

S.C. Press Association attorney Jay Bender said the public college is behaving as if it were a private school. The records are clearly a matter of public record and The Citadel has no right to withhold them, he said.

"This is astonishing," he said. "There is nothing in the (Freedom of Information Act) that gives The Citadel the right to claim an exemption based on someone else's investigation."

Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556 or on Twitter at @glennsmith5.