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The Citadel apologizes for not reporting allegation of child sex abuse

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 10:51 AM EST, Tue November 15, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "We should have done more," says Citadel President Lt. Gen. John Rosa
  • A former camp counselor faces at least six criminal counts
  • Rosa asks anyone with relevant information to contact police
  • Victim's attorney: The Citadel should have reported what it knew

For more on this story, go to CNN affiliate WCBD

(CNN) -- The president of The Citadel military college apologized on Monday for not reporting to law enforcement an allegation against a camp counselor involving sexual activity and a child.

Asked by a reporter what he would tell victims and their families about the college's admitted lack of action, Lt. Gen. John Rosa responded: "I'd say we're profoundly sorry.

"We're sorry that we didn't pursue it more. We acted on what we thought was our best information ... We did not pursue it enough."

Over the weekend, the nationally known South Carolina college detailed an abuse allegation against one if its alumni, Louis Neal "Skip" ReVille, 32, who was arrested late last month.

He faces at least six charges, including three counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor and three counts of lewd act on a minor, according to Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, police.

Although police did not provide specifics of the charges, CNN affiliate WCBD-TV reported that ReVille is accused of molesting at least five boys.

He has admitted guilt in at least three cases committed between November 2010 and October 2011, according to an affidavit filed in Charleston County court.

The story has attracted national attention in the wake of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal, which led to the ouster of that university's president and legendary head football coach Joe Paterno.

Penn State suspect admits "horsing around," denies abuse

In 2007, The Citadel received an allegation from a former camper that five years earlier, ReVille had invited the boy into his room at The Citadel Summer Camp to watch pornography. Another camper was also present. They did not touch each other, but engaged in sexual activity, the college said.

"Though the general counsel was unable to corroborate the accusation, the college continued its investigation with the camper's family, who made it clear they were very concerned about maintaining their privacy and not having their names publicized," Rosa and Doug Snyder, chairman of The Citadel Board of Visitors, said in a Saturday statement, referring to the camper who made the initial accusation.

On Monday, Rosa went further.

"When the family did not pursue the matter, we did not either. We should have," he said.

"Regardless of whether the law said we were supposed to report or not, we should have reported this. We should have taken more action," said Rosa.

An attorney representing the camper who originally reported the alleged abuse to The Citadel told reporters on Monday that the victim's family had asked the college to make sure no other children would be harmed.

"Had The Citadel come forward in 2007 ... what we're seeing now as a community may never have happened," said attorney Mullins McLeod.

The victim's family had thought the college would report the incident and are "grief-stricken" with the knowledge that subsequent kids could have been abused, he said.

The Citadel, in Charleston, South Carolina, has said a review of ReVille's records in 2007 revealed no other complaints, and his file included a clean background check. He was a highly respected cadet and denied the accusation, the college said.

"At the time, we took what we thought were the necessary steps. It's now clear we should have done more," said Rosa.

He encouraged anyone with information regarding inappropriate behavior involving ReVille to contact police.

ReVille's attorney, Craig Jones Jr., has said his client is sorry for what he did, according to WCBD.

WCBD also reported that ReVille was the upper school principal at Coastal Christian Prep in Mount Pleasant, and had held a number of positions over the years working with area children.

"Hopefully the way he's cooperated, that's one way he can hopefully show ... do what he can to help the victims to whatever extent he can," Jones said, according to WCBD. "There's no way that, obviously, he can repair the damage that's been done."

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