Ex-Citadel counselor worked with kids for a decade before scandal

Louis ReVille  first took a job as a summer counselor at the South Carolina military college in 2001.

Story highlights

  • Louis Neal ReVille faces three counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor
  • He also faces three counts of lewd act on a minor
  • ReVille had pursued career in child-related work
  • He had worked as a camp counselor at The Citadel
Described as "serious," "intelligent" and a "good strategic planner" by a former colleague, Louis Neal ReVille worked in child-related jobs for a decade prior to his arrest last month in a case involving criminal sexual conduct with a minor, officials said Wednesday.
The former Citadel cadet-turned-camp counselor now faces a series of sex 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.
"Those of us who worked with him were in complete shock," said Brent Egan, school board chairman of Coastal Christian Preparatory School, where ReVille, 32, served as vice principal. "He was just very effective (in his job as an administrator). He was a serious, intelligent guy, and a good strategic planner."
In 2007, The Citadel received an allegation from a former camper that, five years earlier, ReVille had invited a 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 Citadel said. On Monday, the military college in Charleston, South Carolina, said authorities there should have pursued the matter further at the time.
The Citadel 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 school added.
The case has drawn national attention in the wake of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal involving former coach Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky faces 40 counts in what authorities allege was the sexual abuse of eight boys. The case also led to the ouster Penn State President Graham Spanier and head football coach Joe Paterno. Both Penn State and The Citadel have come under fire for how authorities at each institution handled the separate accusations.
"It's amazing the number of places he worked at and volunteered," said Ken Ayoub, director of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina's recreation department where in the summer of 2001 ReVille began volunteering as a children's tennis coach. "He's a married guy. It's all just very disturbing."
Ayoub said each volunteer undergoes criminal background checks, and that ReVille's had come up clean.
The volunteer role was one of many involving children that ReVille, nicknamed "Skip," pursued throughout his career.
The former Alabama resident first took a job as a summer counselor at the South Carolina military college in 2001, one year before he graduated, according to a statement from the school.
There he worked with groups of children between the ages of 10 and 15 during two summer sessions at the college, the school said.
A year later, ReVille became a foster parent for the South Carolina Department of Social Services, said Marilyn Matheus, a spokeswoman for the agency.
Between 2004 and 2006, he assumed child-care responsibilities that included providing room and board to children who commonly suffer from abuse or neglect, said Matheus.
His volunteering continued at Charleston's Moultrie Middle School before taking a job as vice principal at the state's Coastal Christian Preparatory School, according to Egan.
Egan said ReVille "seemed to have a genuine interest in doing things the best way possible." He added that the former vice principal was "involved in his church" and had been pursuing advanced studies at Charleston Southern University.
ReVille's attorney, Craig Jones Jr., has said his client is sorry for what he did, according to CNN affiliate WCBD.
"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. "There's no way that, obviously, he can repair the damage that's been done."
An attorney who represents 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.
Citadel President Lt. Gen. John Rosa said Monday, "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."