Former Citadel Cadet Jeanie Mentavlos on Monday filed a lawsuit alleging civil rights violations by The Citadel, the Citadel’s governing board, the officer who oversaw the barracks where she was assigned, and five male cadets. Mentavlos stated, “I’m seeking justice. The major goal here is to make sure that it doesn’t happen to anybody else.”
Mentavos alleges that, during her one semester at the Citadel, she was subjected to taunts, attacks, and other abuses. One cadet allegedly approached her with pictures of lesbian sex and another cadet once entered her room wearing only underwear. An unidentified cadet reportedly rubbed his penis against Mentavos’ backside and another told Mentavos that the first freshman to have sex with her would be deemed an “honorary upperclassman.”
Mentavos further asserts that male cadets published digitally altered pictures of her on the Internet. The cadets altered the pictures of Mentavos so that she would appear to have a penis and exposed breasts.
The school disciplined 14 male cadets in response to Mentavlos’ accusations, but a local prosecutor determined that there were no grounds for criminal charges. The Citadel has not yet made a public statement regarding the lawsuit.