CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – The first suit against The Citadel for the school’s role in the Louis “Skip” ReVille case was filed Wednesday. One of the attorneys, Jeff Anderson, is the same man who’s filed similar suits against Penn State and Syracuse.
“Some people think this lawsuit is designed to take The Citadel down, but frankly it’s designed to help them clean it up,” Anderson said.
Attorneys say the child did not attend the military college, but claims since The Citadel’s leaders failed to report sexual allegations made about ReVille to law enforcement.
Attorneys claim The Citadel is partly to blame for the alleged abuse by ReVille in 2007 and 2008 during his involvement with a recreation program in Mount Pleasant.
“It becomes an institutional failure, an institutional recklessness, institutional choice made by more than one individual,” Anderson said.
Anderson and attorney Gregg Meyers say besides monetary damages, the attorneys and their client are calling for changes at the school.
“Train, educate, inform, collaborate, understand the mistakes of the past they made and failures so that they don’t repeat them in the future,” Anderson said.
Meyers said they will create a list of mandates for The Citadel regarding reporting allegations of child sexual abuse.
“The first conversation is going to be ‘lets talk about how you operate your organization to change it so that no child in the future has a danger that you could have prevented’ and we hope by that, The Citadel will join us in creating an example for The Citadels, for the Penn States,” Meyers said.
The Citadel’s leaders said they’ve asked the State Attorney General’s Office to look into reviewing their policies and procedures involving the allegations and reporting, but Meyers says they can’t wait for the state.
“They seem to be in no rush to get to the bottom of anything. They’re going to stand back until the criminal process is done. We thought there was some urgency to it and we didn’t want to wait another year,” Meyers said.
A request for comment to the State Attorney General’s Office spokesman was not returned today. The Citadel’s spokeswoman Charlene Gunnels said Tuesday the school does not comment on pending litigation.
The negligence charges against The Citadel include:
• Failing to report ReVille’s conduct to law enforcement
• Failing to report ReVille’s conduct to his employers in 2007
• Failing to report ReVille’s conduct to parents of children under ReVille’s supervision
• Failing to correct the representation that ReVille did not have a sexual interest in children
• Failing to disrupt ReVille’s sexual interest in children
• Failing to have sufficient education and training about reporting persons known to have engaged in sexual misconduct with children
• Creating conditions where children would be left alone with a person known to be sexually interested in children