How Southern Charm’s Nanny Dawn Escaped Thomas Ravenel’s Alleged Rape, Helped Lead Police to Him
According to Thomas Ravenel's affidavit, issued by the Charleston Police Department and obtained by PEOPLE, "there is probably cause to believe that [Ravenel] did commit the crime set forth and that such probable cause is based on the following facts" that are listed.
On Tuesday, Ravenel was charged with assault and battery in the second degree after a woman who worked as his children’s nanny accused him of rape, Charleston County jail records show. Now, details of the alleged sexual assault have been revealed.
According to the affidavit, issued by the Charleston Police Department and obtained by PEOPLE, “there is probable cause to believe that [Ravenel] did commit the crime set forth and that such probable cause is based on the following facts” that are listed.
The document states that Ravenel “did knowingly, willingly, and unlawfully violate SC Statue 16-3-600(D)(1), Assault and Battery in the Second Degree” on Jan. 25, 2015.
The affidavit states that “the victim, to be named later at the court’s discretion, was working for the defendant as a nanny at the above location. While inside the location, [Ravenel] undressed and made sexual advances on the victim.”
According to the affidavit, which describes graphic details of the alleged assault, Ravenel proceeded to sexually assault the nanny before she escaped.
“After escaping the assault, the victim called her then ex-husband and sister and told them of the incident, fled the scene and notified several family members of the incident. Photographs were then taken immediately of the injuries to her neck and chest,” the affidavit states. “Detectives corroborated the incident date and location through employment records of the victim and defendant, and interviewed multiple witnesses, to be named at the court’s discretion, who substantiated the post-assault information. Detectives also retrieved the photographs taken by the victim, which are appropriately time-stamped in reference to the incident.”
“The victim, having an extensive work history with the defendant, was shown a single-photo of the defendant, of whom she immediately identified her assailant,” the affidavit states.
WATCH: Southern Charm’s Thomas Ravenel Accused of Sexual Assault, Allegedly Paid Accuser $200,000
Police began investigating Ravenel in May after a woman reported him for sexual assault. A former nanny to his children named Dawn, and known to fans of the Bravo show as “Nanny Dawn,” claimed to PEOPLE that she is that woman. Dawn, who asked that her last name not be used, was featured on the show caring for Ravenel’s two children with ex-girlfriend and costar Kathryn Dennis, daughter Kensie, 4, and son Saint, 2½.
The affadavit corroborates what Dawn told PEOPLE in May, when she claimed that in January 2015, she reported for work, and Ravenel headed to dinner with friends.
“Thomas returned home from an evening with friends,” she said. “I had just finished making baby food and was drying baby bottles.”
Dawn claimed Ravenel turned off the lights, and she called out that she was working in the kitchen and needed to see. At that point, she alleged Ravenel 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.”
After suggesting Ravenel go upstairs, Dawn said the incident 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,” she said. “He was blocking the door. I was mortified, embarrassed, and scared.”
“I was unsure what to do because Kensie was sleeping very close by,” she continued. “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.”
Without going into further detail, Dawn said she eventually got away from Ravenel, who she said was being investigated for “first-degree forcible rape.”
According to Dawn, several weeks later, Ravenel apologized and “promised it would never happen again.”
Dawn said she struggled with shame and a range of emotions — including whether to tell Dennis. When she did eventually confide in Dennis, the reality star was in “shock.”
Dawn claimed Dennis then confronted Ravenel, which she says only intensified their already strained relationship — including intense victim-shaming in which Ravenel would allegedly “butt-dial” her, allowing her to overhear him insulting her to others.
Dawn was replaced by a new nanny, Deidre Blair Politelli.
A source tells PEOPLE that Ravenel’s arrest is connected to her allegations. The arrest report lists the crime incident as “sex offense/forcible rape” and refers to an incident in January 2015.
“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.”