Friday, January 17, 2014
A confidential settlement has been reached between Pinewood Preparatory School and two victims sexually abused by Louis “Skip” ReVille while he was employed at the school.
That’s according to a joint statement released Friday afternoon by Pinewood Prep (PPS) and the Motley Rice law firm.
The settlement stems from a civil lawsuit.
ReVille confessed to sexually abusing two middle school students at PPS while he was a teacher and coach at PPS. ReVille is currently serving a 50-year prison sentence for abuse that involved dozens of boys in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties over a decade’s time.
“With the conclusion of these cases, our clients will finally be able to move one more step in the right direction, continuing this most difficult healing process,” Motley Rice attorney David Hoyle said.
Hoyle is one of the firm’s attorneys representing John Doe and John Doe 2.
“I applaud the bravery and commitment of these young men to see this case to the end, despite the intense emotions and hurt the process often brought back for them and their families,” Hoyle said.
“Our board and our attorneys have worked to defend our school against both civil and criminal allegations and have willingly agreed to settle this civil action,” PPS Board of Trustees Chair Lisa Grossman said. “With this settlement completed, Pinewood and its staff will continue to focus on preparing students to excel in college and inspire them to make a positive impact on the world.”
As part of the settlement, PPS has adopted a new child protection policy that implements and enforces stricter procedures to protect students and make its employees and volunteers aware of the threats abuse poses to children.
“There is no credible evidence whatsoever that anyone at Pinewood Prep had knowledge that Skip ReVille was secretly abusing children and, therefore, should have reported it,” Solicitor David Pascoe said in a statement released in April of last year.
The burden of proof in a criminal case requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil case, however, the standard of proof is different.
The burden of proof is by a preponderance of the evidence. Here, the parties resolved the case prior to any trial, according to the joint press release.
The PPS Board of Trustees also passed a resolution that recognizes that “the impacts of abuses like those committed by Louis Neal “Skip” ReVille had a devastating impact on the entire Tri-County area and shined a spotlight on an often overlooked problem within our society,” and pledged the school’s support for the efforts of From Darkness to Light, the Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center and the Medical University of South Carolina’s National Crime Victims Center.
“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims of Skip ReVille, who preyed on young people at numerous institutions here in the Lowcountry,” Grossman said. “There is no question that these events have contributed to a deeper understanding of how sexual predators operate, helping the school create a Child Protection Policy and mandatory employee training moving forward.”
In approving the confidential settlement agreement, the PPS board also agreed that the child protection policy will remain in effect for a minimum of 10 years, directed the preparation of an annual report detailing PPS’s compliance with the Child Protection Policy, and agreed to an annual outside review of its documents reflecting such compliance.
“The actions taken by Pinewood Preparatory School demonstrate real reforms that can be achieved through the civil justice system and Motley Rice’s staunch commitment to our clients,” Motley Rice co-founding member Joe Rice said.
Rice is one of the attorneys for John Doe and John Doe 2. “The Child Protection Policy and provisions in this agreement can be used as a model and foundation for public and private institutions in implementing similar protections for students.”
“I encourage institutions that have existing policies to revisit them and provide updates just as those indicated in this agreement,” said Marlon Kimpson, another Motley Rice attorney for John Doe and John Doe 2. “These should be living and ever-evolving polices in order to ensure effectiveness.”