The Citadel should have more aggressively handled a complaint made in 2007 about a former Citadel camp counselor who is now the subject of 11 more recent sexual molestation investigations, Citadel President John Rosa said Monday.
Rosa insisted that the suspect -- 32-year-old Louis “Skip” ReVille of Mount Pleasant -- is ultimately “responsible for what happened to other victims.”
But, “by not doing enough we played a limited role in the events” that ReVille is now accused of, Rosa confided.
“We’re profoundly sorry. We’re sorry we didn’t pursue it more. We should have been much more aggressive. We acted on our best information and after the fact we did not follow on this,” he said.
A former coach, teacher and school vice principal, ReVille is currently jailed and under investigation by police in Mount Pleasant and Hanahan who are probing 11 alleged sexual molestations of teen-aged boys.
In 2007, a former Citadel camper and his family told Citadel officials that in 2002, when the boy was 14, he and ReVille watched porn on ReVille’s laptop computer and masturbated together at the camp. The complaint was looked into by the college’s general counsel, which traveled to Dallas to interview the boy and his family. According to Rosa, the college and the family eventually lost touch and nothing became of the complaint.
Shortly before Rosa spoke to the press, Charleston attorney Mullins McLeod, who represents the Dallas family, told reporters that the boy and his family had been assured by Citadel officials in 2007 that police would be fully informed of the allegation. He said the family expected that would put an end to the kind of incidents of which ReVille is accused, adding the family “was distraught, and they had every right to be,” when they heard recently the news that ReVille has been named 11 newer alleged molestation of boys cases.
“They are grief stricken. My client and his family are very, very disturbed by public statements from The Citadel and the fact that nothing was done. They thought that the situation had been taken care of,” McLeod said.
The college was bound by law to pass on to police the contents of the 2007 allegation, McLeod maintained. He said the Citadel should not have limited its investigation to an in-house one in which ReVille, a Citadel graduate, was reportedly asked about -- and denied -- the allegation.
“The Citadel investigating The Citadel is no investigation at all,” McLeod declared. Had the Citadel passed the complaint about ReVille on to police, “what we are seeing now may never have happened,” he added.
Rosa, who has been Citadel president since 2006, said police are now involved. He said he wasn’t personally involved in hearing the family’s complaint in 2007, or the subsequent investigation. He said he first heard about the probe from the college’s legal staff.
The Citadel, he said, came to interpret the matter as a “settlement case.” Rosa said the college believed that -- based on lack of follow up by the family -- that what the family really wanted was help in getting their teen admitted to The Citadel.
“We were going to help him complete courses that he needed to take and make recommendations, but we never heard from the family again,” Rosa said.
Rosa said that in the incident of which ReVille was accused at The Citadel camp, “molestation” did not take place, because, the participants did not touch each other, only themselves.
“No one was molested, they did their own thing there,” he said.
Following Rosa’s comments, his office released 169 pages of documents -- carefully redacted to protect the ID of the complainant -- related to the Citadel’s investigation. McLeod said he interprets the documents to detail “pedophilia,” but, according to McLeod, The Citadel concluded the complaint had no merit.
Rosa said no actions have been taken against Citadel personnel involved in the investigation, and an outside consulting firm, Guidepost Solutions of New York, has been hired to review the college’s handling of the complaint and make recommendations.
Rosa said that he first learned from the media about the cases being made against ReVille, the name didn’t immediately ring any bells with him.
He also said that while there are “similarities” between the situations faced by The Citadel and Penn State University over molestation allegations, the circumstances are also quite different at the two academic institutions.
McLeod would not comment when asked if he’s been asked to represent other families alleging improper behavior by ReVille.