The Citadel is not liable for sexual abuse committed by a former summer camp counselor after he left the school to work for another employer, according to a S.C. Appeals Court decision Wednesday.
The former counselor, Skip ReVille, pleaded guilty in June 2012 to molesting 23 boys over the course of a decade. He starting during his time as a counselor at The Citadel's now-defunct summer camp between 2001 and 2003.
ReVille said during a later investigation that he had tried to turn himself in to campus police in 2001 but that an officer refused to hear his confession. When a former camper came to The Citadel with accusations against ReVille in 2007, the school conducted an internal investigation and offered him a $20,000 settlement but never reported the matter to police. ReVille went on to work as a teacher and coach at several locations in the Charleston area.
In one of several lawsuits filed after ReVille's arrest, John Doe 2 v. The Citadel, a victim said ReVille had "groomed" and sexually abused him starting in 2005 while he was involved in Amateur Athletic Union basketball at Pinewood Preparatory School in Summerville.
John Doe 2 sought damages from The Citadel in a lawsuit claiming that the public military college concealed its knowledge of accusations against ReVille "for the protection of its own image," writing in the lawsuit, "The safety of children and the prevention of further sexual abuse by ReVille were apparently of no significance."
The plaintiff and his attorney, Mullins McLeod, still may appeal to the state Supreme Court.
State and federal courts have repeatedly said The Citadel is not liable for abuses carried out at other locations after ReVille stopped working for the college. Federal courts have thrown out similar lawsuits, and the state appeals court upheld a dismissal in another ReVille-related case, Mother Doe A v. The Citadel, in July.
Dawes Cooke, the attorney representing The Citadel in the John Doe 2 case, argued the school can't be held liable for later actions by a former employee.
"There is no legal duty to stop crimes that you don’t have any control over," Cooke said Wednesday.