South Carolina's top police agency has joined the investigation of Louis "Skip" ReVille as The Citadel continues to draw heat for mishandling allegations and allowing the admitted molester to roam free.
Also Friday, a former foster child who lived with ReVille said another state agency seems to have dropped the ball in investigating ReVille's time as a foster parent to four children.
The teen said he has been waiting for weeks to speak with state social workers about a porn and masturbation session that mirrored what reportedly occurred at The Citadel.
The State Law Enforcement Division confirmed that it has joined the investigation into The Citadel scandal at the request of Charleston police. The agency will look into a teen's 2007 allegations that ReVille lured young campers into his room to watch porn and masturbate while serving as the camp's senior counselor.
The Post and Courier asked police whether they will also investigate The Citadel's failure to report that complaint to authorities. Police responded: "The investigation will incorporate all relevant issues based on evidence discovered during the ongoing probe."
Under state law, numerous professions, including teachers, principals, clergy and police, are required to report instances of suspected child abuse. College administrators are not specifically mentioned in the law, but attorneys for some of ReVille's alleged victims argue they are there by extension.
Citadel officials have disputed that they were bound by the law, but have acknowledged that they had a moral obligation to report.
The U.S. Department of Education also is said to be looking into the Citadel case for possible violations of the federal Clery Act, which requires timely reporting of crimes on campus. Officials at the agency said it was against their policies to confirm such investigations.
The Citadel's fumbling of the complaint has attracted heavy criticism and unflattering comparisons to Penn State University's bungling of its own alleged sex abuse scandal. The Citadel affair has made headlines coast-to-coast and drawn ire from the usually faithful ranks of school alumni.
"It is time to put the best interest of The Citadel above pride in self," Scott Hansen, a member of the Class of 1994, wrote in a letter to the editor published in today's newspaper. "I feel those who knew about these deplorable events and did not notify law enforcement should step aside."
The Citadel conducted a brief investigation into the complaint that proved inconclusive, school officials said. They also discussed a possible cash settlement. ReVille continued to work as an educator and coach at a variety of institutions around the Lowcountry, where he had access to hundreds of children.
He is charged with molesting five boys in Mount Pleasant, and police have indicated that several more charges are on the way as a result of a multi-jurisdiction investigation.
An alarming episode
The state Department of Social Services also pledged to investigate ReVille's time as a foster parent between 2004 and 2006, but one of ReVille's former foster children said no one has tried to contact him, leading him to question how much effort the DSS is putting into the case.
The teen, now 19, said the former coach treated him well until one night when ReVille put on a porn movie and began masturbating next to him on a couch. The boy, then around 15, said he sat there uncomfortably for 45 minutes while ReVille pleasured himself. He didn't know what to think, he said.
"It made me really uncomfortable," said the teen, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "It was weird. I didn't know if this was just something older guys did. I just knew I wasn't going to do it too."
The teen said he never discussed the incident with ReVille again, and he avoided putting himself in situations where he might be alone like that with ReVille. He had pushed the memory back in his mind until ReVille's arrest Oct. 28 in Mount Pleasant on molestation charges.
The teen said ReVille never laid a hand on him. But the coach's arrest got him thinking about ReVille's penchant for hanging around young boys. ReVille regularly held after-hours dodgeball sessions for boys at Pinewood Preparatory School in Summerville, and went out of his way to give boys rides to and from events, he said.
"These were really young boys -- 12 to 13 years old," the teen said. "He never seemed to be with adults."
The teen said he plans to go to police with what he knows, but he still hopes the DSS will search for answers as well.
"I want DSS to do the right thing and not sweep this under the rug," he said. "There could be somebody else out there who needs help."
Craig Jones, ReVille's attorney, could not be reached for comment Friday. He has said that ReVille is "very remorseful" about the pain he has caused. ReVille admitted to the allegations in Mount Pleasant and is cooperating with detectives working the molestation cases.
This week, DSS spokeswoman Marilyn Matheus said her agency was working with police on the ReVille investigation, but she declined to discuss details. When told Friday of the teen's comments, she said, "That's not my understanding of what is happening, but he can say what he wants."
She said privacy laws prevent her from saying more about the children in ReVille's care or DSS' attempts to reach them.
The former foster child said he lived with ReVille in Summerville for several months after problems at home forced him into foster care. Another boy who was a Pinewood Prep student lived at the house as well for a time, but he didn't know of any allegations involving that boy.
The masturbation incident occurred at a home off Dorchester Road where ReVille stayed temporarily, the teen said. The teen said he wasn't living with ReVille at the time but kept in touch with the coach. ReVille invited him to spend the night after they played basketball one day, he said.
"I was speechless when I heard about his arrest," the teen said. "I thought he was a great guy."
Problems at Pinewood
Pinewood Prep officials have said they received no complaints about sexual impropriety by ReVille during his tenure with the school between 2002 and 2006. He was let go for academic reasons, they said.
"The only complaints were from an instructional perspective," said Glyn Cowlishaw, who was Pinewood's headmaster during ReVille's tenure. "They were all classroom-related, things about his demeanor in the classroom but not having to do with anything involving sexual impropriety."
One parent told The Post and Courier she raised concerns about ReVille's odd methods as an English teacher, which included telling middle school students to keep journals that he would not allow their parents to see.
"The students were told they could write absolutely anything in there, and their parents would not be told about it," said the parent, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The parent said she complained to the school administration that ReVille was undermining parental authority and trying to drive a wedge between parents and their children. School officials and ReVille told her not to worry, it was just his teaching style.
The parent said she became even more uncomfortable when ReVille invited one of her teenage sons to spend a Saturday working on a house he was building.
When told he would be alone with ReVille, she said, she forbade him from going.
The parent said she already was on high alert after Harry Dale Peterson, a former calculus teacher at Pinewood, was caught with child pornography in 2002. Peterson had tried to get close to one of her sons, she said.
"So when I was hearing these things with Skip ReVille," she said, "that was really setting off alarms for me."
Gene Sapakoff contributed to this report. Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556 or on Twitter at @glennsmith5.
The Bell Legal Group filed a lawsuit Friday against Michael J. Arpaio and The Citadel, alleging that the former Marine captain sexually assaulted a boy at the school's summer camp in 2001.
The Bell group previously sued Arpaio and The Citadel in 2005 on behalf of five campers who alleged that they were sexually abused by Arpaio at the camp. The victims were awarded a $3.8 million settlement.
The Georgetown law firm said it has been contacted about handling multiple new claims against Arpaio.
The new case will seek damages for sexual acts against a minor, said attorneys J. Edward Bell III and David W. Harwell.
Arpaio, a counselor at The Citadel Summer Camp between 1995 and 2001, pleaded guilty to indecent assault and other charges in 2003 during a military court-martial. Arpaio, then 29, served 15 months in the Charleston Naval Brig.
The former camper in the latest suit previously had been identified as a possible witness through the course of discovery in the 2005 civil actions, but he did not choose to come forward until October, Bell said.
The Citadel had no comment on the litigation.