Child abuse allegations against Marist Brothers horrendous

ALLEGATIONS of child abuse against two former Lismore teachers weren't reported to police by the Marist Brothers, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has revealed.

Retired Marist brother John Chute leaves the courts in Canberra, Thursday, June 5, 2008. Mr Chute has pleaded guilty to 19 counts of committing an indecent act with a child between 1981 and 1987. (AAP Image/Alan Porritt) NO ARCHIVING
Retired Marist brother John Chute leaves the courts in Canberra, Thursday, June 5, 2008. Mr Chute has pleaded guilty to 19 counts of committing an indecent act with a child between 1981 and 1987. (AAP Image/Alan Porritt) NO ARCHIVING Contributed

A report was released today about the public hearing held in Canberra last year examining the response of the Marist Brothers to allegations of child sexual abuse in schools in the ACT, NSW and Queensland.

Allegations at the hearing centred around former St Joseph's Principal John "Kostka" Chute and former St Carthages primary school teacher Brother Gregory Sutton.

"Between 1962 and 1993, allegations of child sexual abuse were not reported to police by the Marist Brothers," the report stated.

"Before 1992, there was nothing kept in writing concerning the transfer of Brothers nor, before 1983, were written records kept of allegations against, or admissions by, Brothers."

Commissioners heard the Marist Brothers knew about a number of allegations and admissions of child sexual abuse by Brother Chute but continued to transfer him from school to school.

The Royal Commission was told Brother Sutton was transferred from St Carthages after two years due to complaints of inappropriate behaviour with children which went unreported.

Marist Brothers Provincial, Brother Crowe, admitted that failures of communication action had had tragic results and that the facts were horrendous and inexcusable.



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