As Penn State University faces questions as to why it did not do more to put a stop to the alleged sexual abuse of children by a member of its staff, the president of a South Carolina military university spoke out today about similar allegations made there and admitted that, in their case, the school could have and should have done more.
"At the time, we took what we thought were the necessary steps," said Lt. Gen. John Rosa, President of The Citadel, according to ABC News' Charleston affiliate WCIV. "Now, we know we didn't."
Speaking at a press conference today, Rosa was referring to the school's actions in 2007 after a teenage boy and his family came forward to give a 169-page statement to the school describing inappropriate sexual conduct, they said, by Citadel summer camp counselor and former Citadel cadet Louis "Skip" ReVille in 2002.
"The individual stated they watched pornography on Mr. ReVille's computer," Citadel officials said in a statement over the weekend, referring to the victim's account. "They did not touch each other, but they engaged in sexual activity."
Rosa said that in 2007 ReVille strongly denied the allegations against him and an internal investigation showed there were no other complaints against the counselor, only positive references from other members of the staff. The university was not required to report the incident to police and closed the case.
"We interviewed other camp staff which were very complimentary of ReVille," Rosa said today. "When the family did not pursue the matter, we did not either. We should have."
Four years after The Citadel was alerted to ReVille's alleged abuse, ReVille was arrested in late October and charged with multiple accounts of direct sexual molestation of young teenage boys. According to arrest warrants, he had abused several of the boys in just the last year alone. By that time he was working at a Christian preparatory school and reportedly had been heavily involved in youth sports programs.
Citadel officials said that unlike the 2002 incident, ReVille has admitted to at least some of the charges against him in this case.
"Like so many in the Lowcountry, we are sad to say someone so close to us has betrayed our trust," Rosa said.
A call after office hours to ReVille's reported attorney, Craig Jones, was not immediately returned, but Jones told Charleston's The Post and Courier ReVille was deeply sorry for what he's done.
"He is very, very remorseful," Jones said.