Congressman seeks hearing on Citadel, Penn State sex abuse scandals

WASHINGTON (WCSC) - The top Democrat on the House education committee is calling for a hearing on the sex abuse scandals at Penn State and The Citadel.

Rep. George Miller, a California Democrat, told Committee Chairman John Kline that the hearing should look at whether changes are needed in federal laws designed to protect children and students. The Citadel said Thursday that it will cooperate fully with any requests from Congress.

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The Citadel's President, Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa, said Monday that the school is "profoundly sorry" that it did not follow up on a 2002 case that involved suspected child predator Louis "Skip" ReVille.

The 2002 incident, that was reported in 2007, involved two summer camp kids that reportedly watched pornography with ReVille on his computer and engaged in sexual activities.

"We must do everything in our power to protect our children from those who seek them harm.," Congressman Tim Scott said. "I am certainly supportive of Congress taking appropriate federal action. These offenders should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for their crimes, and my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families as they go through these trying times."

ReVille has since been arrested on separate charges of sexual assault. Police say the former coach and private school principal confessed to sexually assaulting five teenage boys that he coached in Mt. Pleasant. Hanahan police say they plan to file six new charges against ReVille and Summerville police are also investigating ReVille.

At Penn State, Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach, is charged with abusing eight children over a 15-year period. University officials have been criticized for not alerting police.

The Citadel's president acknowledged this week that the South Carolina military college lost public trust by not aggressively pursuing a 2007 report of sexual abuse allegedly committed at its former summer camp by an ex-counselor.

Kline, a Minnesota Republican, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

"I think there should be a full investigation to ascertain what if any laws were broken or need to be modified," Congressman Jim Clyburn said Thursday.

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Copyright 2011 WCSC. All rights reserved.The App contributed to this report.