The Citadel is refusing to release documents and detailed information concerning a complaint filed against a former camp counselor now facing multiple molestation charges.
The military college revealed last week that a youth camper lodged a complaint in 2007 accusing former counselor Louis "Skip" ReVille of inappropriate behavior. School officials said the complaint did not concern physical contact, but they have refused to provide specifics about the incident, which reportedly occurred in 2002.
The Post and Courier on Monday filed a written Freedom of Information request for paperwork concerning the incident and the resulting school investigation.
South Carolina Press Association attorney Jay Bender said the records are clearly a matter of public record.
ReVille, 32, graduated from The Citadel in 2002 and went on to work as a coach and educator in private schools, churches and recreation programs throughout the Lowcountry. He now stands accused of molesting five boys whom he coached in Mount Pleasant, and police have indicated more charges are coming.
ReVille had access to hundreds of children while working as a counselor at The Citadel summer camp as a cadet and for two years after his graduation, according to the school.
Citadel officials indicated the school would cooperate with the Mount Pleasant police investigation, but would not expand on its initial statement concerning the 2007 complaint against ReVille.
"Out of deference to the family and because of the ongoing investigation, we respectfully decline to expand on the statement we provided," Charlene Gunnells, The Citadel's media relations coordinator, said in an email.
But Bender said neither reason is sufficient to withhold public documents, particularly if the investigation is being handled by another jurisdiction.
"They are just making that up," he said. "The Citadel has no leg to stand on in claiming this touches on an investigation by someone else. Even if it were their own investigation, that would not be sufficient."