Attorney: The Citadel had opportunity to prevent ReVille assaults
By Natalie Caula and Brian TroutmanTeam coverage from abcnews4.com
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Attorney Mullins McLeod stood before media members Monday afternoon and argued officials at The Citadel were well aware of issues with 'Skip' ReVille and conspired to conceal the information.
McLeod said Louis "Skip" ReVille was a faculty member of the school in 2007 when the first allegation against ReVille surfaced. He said The Citadel should have reported that first case, and argues the case was mismanaged. He also alleges ReVille even reached out to the school about his problem, and it was never reported.
"The plaintiffs allege that Skip ReVille in 2002 confessed to members of The Citadel public safety that he had problems with pedophilia and requested their help. The plaintiffs allege that the 2002 self-report went unreported by The Citadel and The Citadel failed to take any action," McLeod said.
Monday McLeod announced six lawsuits, on behalf of three different clients, were filed against The Citadel and its president Lieutenant General John Rosa in both state and federal courts.
McLeod said an exhibit in his case shows ReVille was hired to work in the writing and learning center at the school in 2006. He said the allegations in the complaints came after a client's father came forward in April 2007 -- two months before ReVille's contract with the school was to end. The alleged victim was a summer camper and accuses ReVille of showing him pornography in his room in 2002. The allegations didn't surface until 2007 and were described in detail in an interview with the alleged victim by a Citadel attorney.
"These families have been through a lot and continue to go through a lot," McLeod said.
McLeod said had the school taken action consistent with the school's policy and procedure, his clients may have never become victims.
"Upon information and belief, after receiving notice that Arpaio sexually abused children attending the camp, The Citadel failed to prevent future campers from being placed in similar instances of potential danger," one of the complaints claims.
Citadel attorney Dawes Cooke denies the allegations in the suits and says the school plans to vigorously defend the cases.
"The claim General Rosa conspired to cover up that ReVille was a child molester is unfounded," Cooke said.
In November of 2011, Rosa admitted the school mismanaged the ReVille case. A press conference was held in regards to the former camper's allegations against ReVille. The president admitted the school had not done enough.
"I believe Mr. ReVille is responsible to what happened to the other victims. Only he is responsible for what he allegedly did, but I can tell you that by not doing enough, we played a critical role in the events," Gen. Rosa said November 14th during the press conference at The Citadel.
Cooke says those comments came from Gen. Rosa's heart at the time and were not comments towards the college's legal responsibility.
"I think it's probably safe to say anyone who's come across ReVille wishes they'd done more," Cooke said.
Cooke says the allegations listed in the suit against The Citadel and Lt. Gen. Rosa are inflammatory and false.
"He (Lt. Gen. Rosa) is disappointed. He's had a policy of absolute transparency from the first day he learned about Skip ReVille, and the idea that he would conspire to cover it up is offensive," Cooke said.
Earlier this month, a grand jury returned 22 indictments against Louis "Skip" ReVille. Those indictments consisted of charges of criminal sexual conduct with a minor, counts related to performing oral sex on children and counts related to dissemination of obscene material to a minor.
One of the claims made public Monday alleges ReVille created a fraternity for young boys that he named "The Killers." It claims each member was given a nickname by ReVille inspired by the size and shape of the boy's genitals. As part of initiation, according to the claim, the boys were forced to perform sexual acts on ReVille.
"Over the course of eighteen months, ReVille sexually abused this victim in excess of one hundred times," the claim states.
Another complaint alleges ReVille played truth or dare with one of McLeod's clients and forced him to keep an erection while standing in a cold shower. It claims ReVille convinced the boy his penis would grow and become more attractive to girls if he allowed ReVille to perform oral sex on him.