Like Penn State, South Carolina's Citadel faces child sex scandal
Like Penn State, an alleged child sex-abuse drama is unfolding at the Citadel, a military college in Charleston, S.C. Louis "Skip" ReVille, a counselor at a Citadel summer camp, reportedly showed pornography to boys at the camp in 2007, and "sexual activity" is alleged to have occurred.
After the incident was brought to their attention, Citadel officials did not report the matter to police. On Thursday, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley demanded to know why.
It's the Penn State scenario: Someone reports an authority figure's suspect behavior with young boys to officials at a college with a noted tradition for moral integrity, and college authorities apparently fail to follow up.
Years later, a lurid molestation scandal erupts, and people begin demanding answers from the school brass.
In 2007, a teenager alleged to Citadel authorities that ReVille showed porn to boys, according to the Charleston Post & Courier. CNN reports that no one touched each other during the porn-watching session but that "sexual activity" occurred.
ReVille, 32, is a Citadel graduate who has held a number of jobs and volunteer positions that put him close to children, including work as a vice principal of a Christian academy and as a children's tennis coach. He also became a foster parent registered with the South Carolina Department of Social Services, according to CNN.
On Oct. 28 of this year, he was arrested on suspicion of molesting five boys. Police told the Post & Courier that more charges are coming.
On Thursday, Haley wanted to know why Citadel leaders didn't report the matter to police.
"At the time an incident like this occurs, anyone in a position of authority with information has a responsibility to turn it over to law enforcement," Haley said, according to the Post & Courier. "That didn't happen here, which is totally unacceptable, and we need to find out why."
The Citadel's strict military culture was the inspiration for Pat Conroy's 1980 novel "The Lords of Discipline." This year, it was named the No. 1 public college in the South by U.S. News and World Report. Its honor code is a particular point of pride. Until 2007, there were no locks on students' doors.
The school has reportedly hired an outside consulting firm to review the way it handled the 2007 complaint.
-- Richard Fausset in Atlanta
Photo: Citadel cadets at a 1996 football game. Mic Smith / The Post & Courier / Associated Press