Citadel agrees to settlement in summer camp abuse suits

Citadel agrees to settlement in summer camp abuse suits

An attorney for two men who filed suit against the Citadel confirms a settlement has been reached a week before the cases were scheduled to head to court.

Citadel attorney Dawes Cooke confirmed the military school agreed to pay $525,000 to each of the two unnamed plaintiffs. The school is not admitting any wrongdoing by settling the case, Cooke said.

Attorney Scott Evans, who represented two former campers who sued the military college for failing to protect them from sexual abuse, said the settlement could have avoided years of litigation.

"Due to the number of legal issues implicated in the case, we would face years of appeal regardless of our success in front of a jury," Evans said in a statement.

The two plaintiffs were former campers who alleged they were abused by Citadel graduate and former Marine Capt. Michael Arpaio. One of them said he was abused on 21 different occasions by Arpaio.

Arpaio volunteered at the camp from 1998 to 2000, court documents state.

In 2003, Arpaio pleaded guilty in military court to several charges, including indecent assault and giving alcohol to minors. He was sentenced to ten years in prison, suspended to 15 months confinement at the Navy brig in Hanahan.

The Citadel closed its summer camp in 2005 after reaching a nearly $4 million settlement with five campers who said the former Marine captain abused them between 1995 and 2001.

The plaintiffs declined to comment on the settlement.

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