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Female Citadel Cadet Settles Suit

November 16, 1999

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) _ A female cadet at The Citadel who quit in frustration after a semester has settled her sexual harassment lawsuit against the school, a staff member and two former cadets for at least $135,000, her lawyer said Monday.

The state-run military academy paid $100,000 to settle Jeanie Mentavlos’ lawsuit against the school and a staff member, her lawyer, Dick Harpootlian, said Monday. A state official confirmed the settlement.

She also settled with former cadet Eric Amhaus for $35,000, Harpootlian said. Harpootlian refused to comment on any settlement with former cadet Nicholas Belcher.

``Jeanie Mentavlos lost a year of her life, and while this certainly doesn’t totally compensate her, it’s a large step in the right direction,″ Harpootlian said.

Her suit against three cadets is still pending.

Ms. Mentavlos claimed she was shoved, kicked and her clothes were set on fire by fellow cadets. Other cadets said the harassment was no greater than what men experience.

The settlement does not require the school to admit liability.

The Citadel was an all-male school until 1995, when Shannon Faulkner was allowed to enroll. In 1996, Faulkner dropped out after just a few days.

Another cadet who dropped out after a semester, Kim Messer, settled her lawsuit against the school last year for $33,750.

Nancy Mace became the first female graduate of the Citadel in May.

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