Offending Institution: Marist Brothers

Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Royal Commission

Repeated claims of child sexual abuse perpetrated by two teachers at several Marist Brothers schools fell on deaf ears over several decades.

The Royal Commission Marist Brothers hearing investigated the response of the Order to allegations of child sexual abuse against Brother John Chute (also known as Brother Kostka) and former Brother Gregory Sutton in Case Study 13.

“Marist Brothers are a Catholic religious institution that was established in Australia in 1872. Since that time the organisation operated 21 schools of its own schools, including 12 boarding schools, and administered 74 schools on behalf of parishes or dioceses”

The abuse occurred in schools in Queensland, the ACT and NSW from the 1960s right through to the 1980s.

The Royal Commission heard allegations that Sutton was tipped off about a pending police investigation and was advised to move to Canada for “treatment” for his behaviour.

Sutton was convicted in 1996 of 67 counts of child sexual abuse against 15 different children. In 2008, Chute was charged and convicted of 19 sex offences involving six children.

It was alleged at the Commission that it was a practice of the Marist Brothers at the time to move teacher from school to school after allegations of child sexual abuse.