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Ex-Citadel worker drugs cadet, watches him shower in months-long sex abuse, suit says

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The legal battle against a longtime Citadel instructor accused of sexually abusing a cadet isn’t over after criminal sexual assault charges against him were dismissed earlier this year.

Lt. Col. Kenneth Boes was accused Wednesday in federal court of entrapping a cadet in a form of “quid pro quo” sexual abuse for six months, allegedly using the cadet’s ability to graduate from the South Carolina military college as leverage.

The cadet, identified only as John Doe in the civil lawsuit, said Boes sexually abused him 40 to 50 times over a more than six-month period — including allegedly touching him inappropriately, watching him shower and keeping articles of his clothing.

“LTC Boes’ conduct towards John Doe was so extreme and outrageous as to exceed all possible bounds of decency and must be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized society,” the complaint states. “The emotional distress suffered by John Doe, who suffered in silence for months and continues to suffer, is so severe that no reasonable person could be expected to endure it.”

Boes was was arrested on charges of third-degree criminal sexual conduct in August 2018, the Post and Courier in Charleston reported. Those charges were later dismissed.

Col. John L. Dorrian, vice president of communications for the Citadel, told McClatchy news group Thursday that the college’s “first and foremost” concern is the safety of students and staff.

He said law enforcement officials were immediately notified when allegations against Boes first arose in 2018, at which point the TAC officer was reportedly placed “under a no contact order with regards to cadets and students.”

“The Citadel took the appropriate actions at that time,” Dorrian said. “We collaborated with the South Carolina law enforcement division throughout their investigation and will continue to do so with the authorities.”

Boes is represented by Andrew J. Savage III of Savage Law Firm. In a statement Friday, Savage said the cadet is a “false victim.”

“I cannot speak for the Citadel but it appears that this is another ‘victim’ of his own design,” he said. “A violent young man who discredited himself by assaulting his girlfriend, displaying an inability to get along with his fellow cadets and being an academic failure. As he was about to be drummed out of the corps he made these false allegations to blame someone else for his multitude of shortcomings.”

Savage said Boes has an impeccable reputation and looks forward to questioning the cadet — whose allegations sparked the criminal case earlier this year — under oath.

A Citadel graduate himself, Boes was a TAC officer and served in the U.S. Army Reserves for 18 years, according to the “Support Ken Boes” Facebook page.

He resigned from the Citadel on Aug. 24, 2018, Dorrian said.

According to Wednesday’s complaint, Boes began “grooming” the cadet in 2017 for “later sexual interactions.”

He allegedly invited the cadet to his home on the Citadel’s campus and provided him with cigars and alcohol, where the cadet said Boes’ wife “would routinely smoke marijuana.”

After a workout at the Citadel’s gym, the cadet alleges that Boes took him back to an office, “locked and blocked the office door” and forcibly kissed him.

“LTC Boes then subsequently confessed his homosexuality and love for John Doe,” the complaint states.

The alleged relationship continued under threats that the cadet would not be able to graduate without Boes’ help, according to the suit.

One night in November 2017 at the officer’s residence, the cadet alleges Boes gave him unidentified pills that he said would prevent a hangover.

“John Doe awoke the following morning naked in the bed with LTC Boes who was also naked,” the complaint states.

The alleged abuse continued from September 2017 to April 2018, according to the suit.

In exchange, Boes allegedly resolved disciplinary actions and punishments against the cadet seemingly “overnight.”

The cadet said he ultimately withdrew from the Citadel in April 2018.

His complaint lists nine causes of action, including negligence on the Citadel’s part in reportedly failing to protect the cadet while retaining and promoting Boes as a TAC officer.

“The Citadel… knew or should have known… LTC Boes was an unfit agent because of his sexual interest in certain students/cadets and his history of routinely ‘getting too close to cadets,’” the complaint states.

The suit also accuses the Citadel of violating Title IX by failing to maintain policies that protect students from sexual abuse and assault.

Other claims include invasion of privacy, outrage, assault, battery, false imprisonment and sexual harassment.

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Hayley is a Real Time reporter at The Charlotte Observer covering breaking news and trending stories in the Carolinas. She also created the Observer’s unofficial bird beat (est. 2015) with a summer full of ornithological-related content, including a story about Barred Owls in love.