Lawsuit alleges Citadel attorney concealed ReVille abuse

Skip ReVille.
Skip ReVille.

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A lawsuit has been filed against a Citadel attorney claiming he conspired with other officials to conceal complaints regarding the sexual abuse of children by Louis "Skip" ReVille.

The suit alleges The Citadel General Counselor Mark Brandenburg, Lt. General John Rosa, and other employees worked together to cover up a complaint by a teen in 2007 who claimed ReVille sexually abused boys five years earlier.

ReVille has been convicted of molesting children while working as a counselor at The Citadel Summer Camp. He is currently serving a 50-year sentence.

The lawsuit, filed by victim John Doe 2, accuses Brandenburg of multiple counts of conspiracy and asks for actual, special and punitive damages.

"The claims against Mr. Brandenburg are completely false," said Dawes Cooke, outside counsel for the Citadel."These are exactly the claims from which he was exonerated in the independent review that came out Friday. The report found Mr. Brandenburg conducted his investigation in good faith, and there was absolutely no effort at a cover up of the Skip Reville claims. The former camper presented his claim as one for compensation. As a public agency, it would not have been possible for The Citadel to have a secret settlement of a claim, even if it wanted to."

The Citadel released an independent report Friday stating the college's investigation into ReVille was a "well-intentioned but inadequate investigation" that was done by a single administrative member. According to the report, the school was not well prepared to handle the incident and looked to its legal counsel for guidance.

The new lawsuit states Brandenburg, who assisted The Citadel in a previous sexual abuse scandal in 2001, was advised in April 2007 that a young boy was sexually abused by ReVille while attending the camp in 2002.

ReVille was a member of The Citadel faculty when the allegations of abuse were made.

The suit goes on to state Brandenburg and others ignored The Citadel's policies on how to handle a sexual abuse investigation, and did not inform others along the chain of command, including The Citadel Public Safety.

The purpose of withholding information was to keep the "new allegation in-house," the lawsuit states.

According to the lawsuit, Brandenburg sent in email on May 8, 2007 which stated: "Moreover, I am hopeful that, by conducting an investigation on behalf of the school, no formal investigation – criminal or civil – will occur."

ReVille was then released by The Citadel for "mutually agreeable reasons," documents state. He was later arrested in 2011.

The suit states the victim's family believed The Citadel followed their requests to ensure ReVille would never sexually abuse children again, but were shocked to learn he was not arrested until 2011.

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