Marist Child Abuse Victim Wanted More Compensation Than $93,000 Received
By David Ellery
June 10, 2014
The first witness to give evidence at the child sexual abuse royal commission hearing in Canberra says she was unhappy with the $93,000 compensation payment she received.
The female witness, identified as ADM, said she had been repeatedly abused over an extended period of time by former Marist Brother Gregory Sutton at a school in Campbelltown in the mid-1980s.
She gave graphic evidence of the nature of the abuse saying that on occasion, Sutton had her and another girl on his lap at the same time.
ADM said she had eventually been granted $93,000 in the late 1990s as a result of a mediation process.
But she only received $58,711, with $24,989 going on legal fees and another $9,300 being rebated to the Health Insurance Commission to cover the cost of earlier counselling.
ADM said while it had seemed a lot of money at the time it was now long gone and the cost of counselling was very high.
"I do not think it was fair that others received more [in compensation] than I did," she said.
She said the Marist Brothers' lawyer, Caroline O'Dea, had told her lawyer if she wanted more money than what was being offered "we will see her in the stand".
ADM said the comment had been very intimidating, as she did not want to testify publicly.
When ADM queried the fact that her friend, witness ADQ who is to give evidence on Tuesday afternoon, received more she was told that ADQ had a child and did not appear to have recovered as well from the experience.
ADM, on the other hand, appeared to have recovered well and had gone on to get a job and live an outwardly normal life.
ADM gave a statement to police in 1989 after ADQ went to the police.
Sutton, meanwhile, had been sent to Canada for counselling and did not return.
ADM was subsequently told the police had lost her file.
ADM gave a second statement to the police almost a decade later when extradition proceedings were launched to return Sutton from the USA where he was teaching at a school in Missouri.