- Posted June 13, 2014 by
Millions Paid Out By Marist Brothers in Sexual Abuse Case against Brother Kostka
A sum total of $6.84 million has been paid out by the Marist Brothers in a case that found Brother Kostka, or John William Chute, guilty of sexual abuse.
Payments averaging $178,000 will be made to each of the 38 former students who comprised the prosecution, led by Mr Simeon Beckett.
Allegations of sexual abuse have been charged against Chute since 1960, where he admitted to “inappropriate touching” at Marcellin College in Randwick.
From that point onward, Chute seems to have been entrenched in a series of allegations and moved from school to school to avoid publicity.
He was transferred to St Anne’s Primary School in Bondi, where again he was subject of sexual abuse allegations in 1961 and 1962.
Superior of the community, Brother Des Phillips met with a boy’s father after the student complained of Chute’s behavior. Chute admitted to “inappropriate touching” once again.
"The royal commission is likely to hear that the primary response was that Brother Chute agreed to see Father Cox for spiritual advice. He left the school at the end of 1962 and began work at the Marist Primary School in Queanbeyan in 1963, before being transferred to Villa Maria at Hunters Hill for 1964, 1965 and 1966."
Later, in 1967, he was appointed principal of St Josephs School in Lismore.
Following a complaint at St Josephs, he admitted his guilt. The provincial of Marist Brothers at the time, Othmar Weldon, then transferred Chute.
His case was heard by the provincial council of the order in 1969, who felt that it was “advisable to give Brother Chute a canonical warning."
Beckett stated in his arguments that on the same day Chute was given a canonical warning he “was transferred to teach primary school and be the principal at Marist College Penshurst, NSW.”
Again, he was accused of sexual abuse, to which he conceded.
His hearing will explore the idea that Chute was sent to the Marist Brothers centre in Fribourg to allay his repeated offences of sexual abuse over his several years of teaching. A move the Marist Brothers often made to hide the truth.
He was transferred to Marist College, Canberra in 1976, where the majority of his sexual abuse cases occurred over a span of 17 years.
It’s estimated that approximately 39 students were victims, and that the offences were all similar.
"Most involve Brother Chute reaching into a boy's underpants and touching the boy's penis," Mr Beckett said.
In January 2008, Chute was charged with 19 counts of child abuse and, after pleading guilty, was sentenced to six years of imprisonment, the third year to be in weekend detention and the last three as suspended.