New Allegations against Jailed Brother Kostka

By Sally Pryor
Canberra Times
March 6, 2009

A former Marist Brother who is serving jail time for molesting students in Canberra is facing fresh allegations of sexually abusing a student in NSW.

John William Chute, who taught under the name of Brother Kostka, pleaded guilty last year to sexually assaulting six boys at Marist College between 1985 and 1989, when they were aged 12 to 16. The 77-year-old was sentenced in the ACT Supreme Court to a minimum of two years' jail.

In January, another former student lodged a civil claim alleging Chute sexually assaulted him at St Joseph's School in Lismore in 1967. The plaintiff, who was in primary school at the time, alleges Chute molested him two or three times in that year by touching his genitals, and making the boy touch his penis.

The former student is suing Chute, claiming he has suffered psychiatric harm as a result of the sexual assaults. He is also suing the Marist Brothers and Catholic Church Insurances, claiming they are liable as Chute's employer and insurer.

According to court documents, the plaintiff claimed that the Marist order, as operators of the Lismore school, breached their duty of care by allowing Brother Kostka to have unsupervised contact with him.

He said the order failed to institute and maintain a system of mandatory reporting of child abuse. He also said the Brothers failed to maintain a program to educate students about their right to be free from sexual abuse, and to report any sexual abuse to an appropriate designated person.

Lawyers for Brother Kostka denied the allegations, but said he was a teacher at the school in 1967. The Marist Brothers have also denied the allegations and said they did not have management and control of the school at the time.


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