Thomas Ravenel will have to answer the charge that he sexually assaulted his nanny in 2015.
According to South Carolina news affiliate WCSC, a judge named Stephen Harris determined at a hearing on Monday that the case against Ravenel will take a step toward trial, dealing a pretty significant legal blow to the Southern Charm star.
Ravenel was arrested in September and charged with second-degree assault and battery after the victim claimed he assaulted her inside of his Charleston home about three years ago.
Tdoay’s preliminary hearing (which Ravenel did NOT attend) included graphic testimony from a Charleston police detective.
He stated that photos show scratches on the unnamed victim, which prompted the aforementioned charges to be filed.
On cross examination, Ravenel’s lawyer said there were problems unlocking the accuser’s cell phone.
He also told Judge Harris that this is a case of “he said, she said,” although the victim’s wounds appear to contract that claim.
While Ravenel’s young daughter’s slept in the room next door, the nanny told investigators that Ravenel took off his clothes and put the her hand on his private parts.
He is then accused grabbing her private parts.
“While inside the location, the defendant undressed and made sexual advances on the victim,” according to an affidavit submitted to the court.
“The defendant grabbed the victim’s hand and placed it on his penis before attempting to [remove] the victim’s clothing.
“While attempting to remove the victim’s clothing, the victim’s underwire bra cut into her skin and her shirt wrapped around her neck, which caused the victim to struggle to breathe.”
The woman then “crouched down to the ground to try and prevent further assault” before Ravenel allegedly “put his penis in her face,” per to this same document.
At one point, the affadavit goes on, Ravenel “pulled down the victim’s pants and said ‘Show me your pussy.'”
Ravenel is a former South Carolina state treasurer and anchored Southern Charm on Bravo for several seasons.
But he dropped out of the series shortly after news of this assault (and another attempted rape) went public.
“In the contract they have the right to fictionalize your story. They took advantage of me. I decided I’ve got too much to lose and informed them I’m not coming back,” Ravenel explained at the time of his departure, playing the victim.
The accuser, identified only as Dawn, appeared at Ravenel’s bond hearing last month and said she thinks the crime extends beyond simple assault and battery.
She said at that time that Ravenel’s kids and also hers were “exposed to constant alcohol and drugs.”
Investigators say they have “appropriately time-stamped” photos of all of these injuries to corroborate Dawn’s story.
They also have records of her employment that confirm her time line of events.
Ravenel resigned as state treasurer in 2007 after pleading guilty to a cocaine possession charge.
He has two children with ex Kathryn Dennis: daughter Kensie, 4; and son Saint, 2.
Dennis filed for a modification of custody and visitation after his arrest — we don’t blame her.
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