Thomas Ravenel's Sexual Assault Accuser Speaks Out: 'He Needs to Be Accountable for His Actions'
Dawn, known as “Nanny Dawn” on the Bravo TV show, first accused Ravenel of sexual assault in May. On Tuesday, she attended his bond hearing, where he was charged with assault and battery in the second degree. She says she was not aware of the hearing until the morning of the 56-year-old’s arrest.
“I felt unprepared and exhausted, as the past five months have been emotionally and physically taxing,” Dawn tells PEOPLE exclusively. “I was offered the opportunity to appear at the hearing and give a victim’s impact statement. Although I was scared, I wanted to tell the judge and Thomas what I feel.”
Ravenel was granted a $20,000 personal recognizance bond and was ordered to turn in his passport, avoid contact with the victim and not leave South Carolina.
“Obviously, I am disappointed that he did not receive a higher bond. I am partially relieved that my family and I received an order of protection, so that eases some of my fears,” she says. “In the past, Thomas made threats in writing to ‘take out’ anyone who helped me regarding the assault.”
Ravenel’s attorney has not returned PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Dawn, 43, stresses that she’s “not the only victim impacted by Thomas’ crime. Our families have suffered as well.”
“I mentioned that a fortune such as his will never make me fortunate,” she adds. “He needs to be accountable for his actions and realize he is hurting people.”
Though Bravo made an official statement that Ravanel will no longer star as a cast member on Southern Charm, Dawn says she is “disappointed” that the network hasn’t contacted her and that the “statement was delayed until after his arrest.” (Bravo did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for further comment.)
Despite his release, Dawn says that “this is just the beginning of an extensive process that may include a trial” and that “evidence will continue to be collected and evaluated, therefore charges may be elevated in the future.”
She described the alleged incident from January 2015 to PEOPLE in May. She said that after returning home from an evening with friends, Ravenel turned off the lights while she was working in the kitchen, then entered the kitchen and attempted to kiss her.
“I told him ‘this isn’t appropriate. I work for you.’ He then hugged me as an alternative,” she said. “I had baby bottles in my hands, so I couldn’t hug him. It felt like he was putting his weight on me.”
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The incident escalated when she went upstairs to grab her jacket, which had her car keys 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,” she said. “He was blocking the door. I was mortified, embarrassed, and scared.”
“He proceeded to rip my clothes off, and I struggled to redress,” she continued. “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 said his daughter Kensie was sleeping nearby during the incident. Without going into further detail, Dawn says she eventually managed to escape, and was later replaced by a new nanny. (An arrest affidavit obtained by PEOPLE includes graphic details of the alleged sexual assault.)
“Although I believe he should be in jail for his crimes, the reality according to statistics is that he will go unpunished,” Dawn previously told PEOPLE. “I feel the only justice I will receive is to share my story in the efforts to educate the public and support assault survivors.”