Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Thomas Ravenel named as suspect in 'forcible rape' reported to Charleston Police

Ravenel has previously described himself as a "target" for allegations

Posted by Adam Manno on Wed, May 9, 2018 at 10:16 AM

Thomas Ravenel stars on Bravo's 'Southern Charm' - BRIANNA STELLO COURTESY OF BRAVO
  • Brianna Stello courtesy of Bravo
  • Thomas Ravenel stars on Bravo's 'Southern Charm'
Former South Carolina state treasurer and Southern Charm star Thomas Ravenel has been named as a suspect in a sexual assault complaint filed with city police Monday afternoon.

According to a Charleston Police Department incident report, an unknown woman told officers that she was sexually assaulted by Ravenel "around the second week of January 2015" at his home on Charlotte Street.

The offense is classified as a "sex offense/forcible rape" in the incident report. The woman in Monday's complaint is listed as living in Lincolnton, North Carolina.

Ravenel, 55, did not respond to CP's request for comment. He sent a Live 5 News reporter a text message Tuesday calling the allegation detailed in the report "absolutely false."

The highly-redacted police report mentions little information.

"The detective has to confirm [the victim's] statement and the evidence she provided," said Charleston Police Department spokesperson Charles Francis. "Mr. Ravenel has to be given the opportunity to provide a statement."

The Monday accusations against Ravenel follow sexual misconduct allegations from another woman in regard to her mother. In an article published last week, People spoke to Mt. Pleasant real estate agent Ashley Perkins, 29, who claims that her mother Debbie met Ravenel on the Tinder dating app in October 2015.

Perkins says that she helped her mother get ready for a date with Ravenel that turned sour in December of that year. According to her, Ravenel picked Debbie Perkins up after leaving her an "inebriated" voicemail and took her to the guest house where his children and nanny live.

“That’s when he turned on her," Ashley Perkins told People. "He pushes my mom onto the nanny’s bed, grabs her wrist with one hand, then he starts trying to pull her pants off. And she’s like ‘No, no, no, stop.’ He stuck his fingers inside of her vagina as well as her anus. She told me that he held her hands back with one arm and then pulled his penis out and shoved it in her face."

Perkins alleges that the former state treasurer and her mother settled the case for $200,000. Her allegations first appeared on the blog FITS News.

Ravenel, the son of former South Carolina congressman Arthur Ravenel, Jr., has starred in the reality TV show Southern Charm since its premiere in March 2014. The unscripted series is currently airing its fifth season and follows the lives of a revolving door of Charleston socialites. Ravenel has two children with Charm co-star Kathryn Dennis, 26. The address on Monday's police report appears to be the same downtown house Ravenel shared with Dennis.

NBCUniversal, the parent company of the cable channel that airs Southern Charm, says that the show's production company is investigating the allegations detailed in People magazine.

“Haymaker, the production company for “Southern Charm,” and Bravo take allegations like these very seriously," a representative for NBCUniversial said in a statement released Friday. "Haymaker is conducting an investigation, and once all the information is gathered and carefully reviewed, appropriate action will be taken.”

The media conglomerate has not spoken on the latest allegations.

Ravenel was indicted on federal cocaine charges in June 2007, five months into his job as state treasurer. He resigned from the post a month later and was later sentenced to 10 months in prison.

He described himself as a "target" for sexual assault allegations in a sit-down interview with local video reporter Quintin Washington in December.

"I've got a big target on my back," Ravenel said. "I'm a pretty well-known guy and people know I have resources. I'm not going to put myself in a position where I can be you know, I can be extorted for money by a bunch of trial lawyers."

PDF CPD Incident Report naming Thomas Ravenel
Charleston Police Department

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