Marist Brothers ignored this abuser. Now they face the Royal Commission

Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 30 May 2014)

In June 2014, Australia’s national child-abuse Royal Commission will examine a case study — showing how the Marist Brothers harboured a child-sex criminal (Brother Kostka Chute) for more than 40 years before some of his former pupils finally succeeded in getting him convicted and jailed.

During those 40 years, the Marist Brothers provided Brother Kostka with numerous victims and ignored the danger.

The Marist Brothers appointed Brother Kostka to 12 Catholic schools in Australia between 1952 and 1993, ranging from Lismore in northern New South Wales to Marcellin College in Randwick, Sydney. His final school was Marist College in Canberra and it was some Canberra pupils who brought him to justice in 2008. However, this Canberra court case was confined to crimes committed within the Australian Capital Territory and he was never charged by NSW Police for any incidents that occurred in New South Wales.

Kostka Chute’s background

According to court documents, Kostka Chute (real name John William Chute) was born on 13 June 1932, the youngest of 10 children, along with his twin sister. He grew up in Coraki, a small farming town in northern New South Wales, near the city of Lismore. He attended a local Catholic primary school. When he was about 10 or 11 he was befriended by a Marist brother.

At age 11-12, John Chute left his family to attend a Marist Brothers “juniorate” (a secondary boarding school where boys were preparing to become Brothers) at Mittagong, in the NSW Southern Highlands. It was there — within the Marist Brothers culture — that Chute became introduced to the Marist practice of sexual abuse in his teens, the court was told.

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