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Thomas Ravenel pleads guilty to 'Nanny Dawn' assault, but no jail for Southern Charm star

Thomas Ravenel in court, Sept. 11, 2019. (Pool_ WCSC).jpg
Thomas Ravenel in court, Sept. 11, 2019. (Courtesy: WCSC)

Thomas Ravenel, a former reality TV star and South Carolina state treasurer, will not face jail time for a 2015 assault of his former nanny.

Ravenel pleaded guilty Wednesday to third-degree assault and battery, a lesser offense than the second-degree assault he was originally charged with.

The assault charge came in September 2018, four months after his former nanny, Dawn Ledwell, told Charleston Police Ravenel had sexually assaulted her in 2015.

Ledwell said a seemingly drunken Ravenel attacked her in his Charleston home after he came in from a late night out, leaving her scratched and bruised.

However, investigators did not have evidence to pursue sexual assault charges against Ravenel given the time that passed between the incident and the time Ledwell reported it.

In court Wednesday, Ravenel apologized for the events that unfolded that night.

“Your honor, on the night of the incident, I did attempt to kiss Mrs. Ledwell, and grabbed her arm, and that was wrong,” Ravenel said.

“I am much appreciative of the opportunity to apologize to Mrs. Ledwell in court today,” added Ravenel, but Ledwell was not in court to hear the apology.

Prosecutors say they received a letter from Ledwell’s lawyer a month ago, indicating she would like the case to be resolved. She was not willing to put her family through a long, drawn out trial given the amount of publicity it would get, attorneys said.

Ravenel could've faced thirty days in jail. The judge waived that sentence, but told Ravenel to pay a $500 fine.

Ravenel has gained nationwide fame through his past role on the Bravo television show, Southern Charm. Ledwell appeared several times on the show in her role as Ravenel’s nanny. Ravenel has since quit the show.

Previously, Ravenel was state treasurer of South Carolina. In 2007, he resigned amid federal cocaine distribution charges, for which he was sentenced to 10 months in prison.