Friday, January 17, 2014
A confidential settlement agreement has been reached in the civil lawsuits involving two sexual abuse victims of former Charleston-area teacher and coach Louis “Skip” ReVille against Pinewood Preparatory School (PPS).
“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,” stated David Hoyle, one of the Motley Rice attorneys representing John Doe and Joe 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.”
“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,” stated Lisa Grossman, chairman of the PPS Board of Trustees. “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.
In April of last year, Solicitor David Pascoe issued a statement stating “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.” 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.
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,” added Grossman. “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 of Trustees also agreed that the Child Protection Policy will remain in effect for a minimum of ten 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,” stated Joe Rice, Motley Rice co-founding member and one of the attorneys for John Doe and Joe 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.”
Motley Rice member and also an attorney for John Doe and John Doe 2 Marlon Kimpson continued, “I encourage institutions that have existing policies to revisit them and provide updates just as those indicated in this agreement. These should be living and ever-evolving polices in order to ensure effectiveness.”
Pinewood Preparatory School is represented by Clayton McCullough of McCullough Khan LLC and Alice Paylor of Rosen, Rosen & Hagood LLC. Joseph Rice, Marlon Kimpson, T. David Hoyle and Laura Khare of Motley Rice LLC and attorney William H. Nixon, Jr., of Charleston, S.C. represent John Doe and John Doe 2, ReVille sexual abuse survivors.
ReVille confessed to sexually abusing both John Doe and John Doe 2 when they were middle school students at PPS and 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.