'Southern Charm' actor Thomas Ravenel accused of raping nanny while his daughter slept nearby
The actor allegedly strangled her, ripped off her clothes and violently raped her even as his infant daughter slept nearby in another room
'Southern Charm' star Thomas Ravenel has been accused of sexually assaulting the nanny as his baby daughter lay fast asleep nearby. The woman who made the accusations has come forward publicly. South Carolina police are investigating the sexual assault allegations.
Dawn, known to fans of the Bravo show as “Nanny Dawn,” told PEOPLE that she is the woman who reported Ravenel to police on May 7 for allegations of sexual assault.
"Although I believe he should be in jail for his crimes, the reality according to statistics is that he will go unpunished. I feel the only justice I will receive is to share my story in the efforts to educate the public and support assault survivors," said Dawn who has requested that her last name not be used.
On the Bravo show, Dawn was seen caring for Ravenel's two children — daughter Kensie, 4, and son Saint, 2, with ex-girlfriend, Kathryn Dennis.
Dawn claims that the incident took place in the year 2015 when she reported for work. Ravenel was headed to dinner with some friends.
"Thomas returned home from an evening with friends. I had just finished making baby food and was drying baby bottles," Dawn said.
Ravenel switched off the lights according to Dawn who was working in the kitchen at the time. She alleges that Ravenel entered the kitchen and tried to kiss her.
"I told him ‘this isn’t appropriate. I work for you," after which he proceeded to give her a hug. "I had baby bottles in my hands, so I couldn’t hug him. It felt like he was putting his weight on me."
She suggested that Ravenel go upstairs when the situation escalated. "I went upstairs to get my jacket which had the key to my vehicle in the pocket. I was corralled into the master bedroom and he shut the door behind me. I turned around and he had his pants dropped, not wearing underwear. He was blocking the door. I was mortified, embarrassed, and scared," she said.
"I was unsure what to do because Kensie was sleeping very close by. He proceeded to rip my clothes off, and I struggled to redress. I remember how worried I was that I may have to run outside in the January cold without clothes on and in an upscale neighborhood. I lived almost an hour away so I would have to drive home naked," she continued.
Dawn says that she eventually got away from Ravenel who is currently being investigated for "first-degree forcible rape". Several weeks later, Ravenel apologized to Dawn and "promised it would never happen again". After struggling with many emotions and shame, she confided in Kathryn.
Kathryn Dennis went on to confront her husband which only made matters worse for Dawn. Ravenel victim-shamed the poor girl and would allegedly "butt-dial" her to make sure she overhears him insulting her to others. Dawn was replaced with a new nanny, Deidre Blair Politelli.
Dawn has finally been able to come to terms with what happened to her and she hopes to empower other victims of sexual assault. "I want the public to reconsider victim shaming. Victims are reluctant to report crimes and inequality due to the fear of humiliation and retaliation. Perpetrators will not be held accountable for their behavior if we blame the victim. It’s not the victim’s fault. Abuse is a conscious choice by the abuser. No means no. Times up!" she said.