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Marist College abuse case now before the ACT Supreme Court

By Skidbladnir - 25 February 2008 29

For those of you not playing along at home, we have previously had coverage on this ongoing story here, here, here, and the original story here.

According to this News.com.au article the lawsuit has been filed in the ACT Supreme Court against the Marist College trustees, in which is claimed the school “brushed aside or failed to act on complaints and warnings from students, parents and teachers alleging abuse starting in 1970 and continuing until 1993”.

This follows Brother John Kostka pleading guilty in the ACT Magistrates Court last Thursday to molesting four students between 1986 and 1987, when they were aged 13 and 14, and several charges needing to be dropped after a statute of limitations had expired.

The article raises the following points which have been alleged by Porter’s Lawyers:
1) This may be the largest case of its kind in Australian history.
2) There are allegedly five former teachers (both lay teachers and Marist brothers) involved, of which Broth Kostka was the last.
3) There are apparently ‘several dozen complainants’, not ‘several dozen complaints’.
4) There was allegedly an incident in New Zealand in the late 70’s which seems very very strange.
5) In the early 80’s there were some as yet unnamed lay teachers allegedly persuading parents to let them do things that seem very bizarre.
6) There is apparently no evidence suggesting the school reported these incidents to police after the school was made aware of them.

According to this ABC Online article, the School and its Trustees have until March to formulate and file their defence.

What’s Your opinion?


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29 Responses to
Marist College abuse case now before the ACT Supreme Court
1
BerraBoy68 1:00 am
26 Feb 08
#

I eagerly await the finger-pointing that will start amongst the Marist stakeholders in all this. I can’t wait to see the evidence that comes up in court and who is cordially invited to attend by the legal beagled on both sides.

Best of all I wonder who they’ll get to play me in the mini-series! Hope its not Russel Crow. Maybe Glen Robins will be available.

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2
OpenYourMind2 7:43 am
26 Feb 08
#

I have a friend who was a victim of what went on at Marist. The school has actively worked to cover up what went on. They are still acting in the same way.

The scariest thing is that there is suggestion that a number of teachers acted in collusion.

Shame on Marist.

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3
Holden Caulfield 3:38 pm
26 Feb 08
#

Apart from stating the bleeding obvious, this story is pretty bloody horrible. :(

Hearing of alleged acts of collusion and cover ups is almost as unforgivable as the deeds themselves.

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4
pptvb 8:23 pm
26 Feb 08
#

Broth Kostka was very involved in Schoolboy rugby.
NZ was probably a tour.
There will be more teachers named yet.This, sadly, runs much deeper.

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5
BerraBoy68 8:46 pm
26 Feb 08
#

Sorry for being a regular poster on this topic but I knew Kostka, Lyons et la very well… as did many Old Boiz.

I want to know what the teachers who have been at Marist for the past 25 years have known. And yes in this I include the following: Mr’s O’Shea, Fairburn, Tan, Guy, Winchester, Johnson etc.. and Ms Robertson et al…

How can they have worked at Marist all this time yet not even heard a whisper of all this??? I cannot believe they did not even have a suspicion or heard rumors. Where was their duty of care???

Also, the lay teacher who advised boys on the NZ rugby tour to keep their doors locked and not let brothers in… Why did he not take his concern to the police when he came back to Aust? This also makes him culpable in my eyes.

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6
Skidbladnir 9:30 am
27 Feb 08
#

If you’re after someone who worked there for years and seemed to have total recall abilities even though he was as old as the hills…

He’d been teaching with Marist since before they were in Canberra (came with the institution from Sydney, and was a Marist Canberra teacher before there were buildings iirc).

Mr Barry Cronan, assuming he’s still alive.

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7
Duke 11:19 am
27 Feb 08
#

For sure, Skid. Barry Cronan made it his business to know everybody’s business.

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8
Skidbladnir 11:46 am
27 Feb 08
#

Barry Cronin, rather.

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9
Skidbladnir 11:46 am
27 Feb 08
#

10
sisterofstudents 6:55 pm
28 Feb 08
#

My family has been involved with Marist from the beginning. My brothers are OK – I hope. What an unspeakable betrayal of the trust of our parents this is. Like many families, we went without certain things to be able to afford a Catholic education. Some of these men were welcomed in our home, work colleagues of our mother, and trusted implicitly by our parents. We are all drawn into this ugly web because of the deeds of seriously needy men who behaved without care or concern for the young people in their care. Unfortunately, this will take a long and painful unravelling – hopefully no stone is left unturned in the search for these pedophiles.

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11
BerraBoy68 7:13 pm
28 Feb 08
#

sisterofstudents – If your brothers were there in the 80’s I probably knew them. The fact is that by the Order, Headmasters etc. covering up the problem, every single boy that was at Marist in the 70’s 80’s and 90’s was a potential victim. It was a lottery whether we were sexually abused or not. The only factors in being chosen was the personal taste of the individual peopdophile, they’re risk assessment of each intended victim and the opportunity each had to indulge themselves in our childhood.

I’ve said it before – I was very lucky. I was on Lyons shopping list but somehow got off it. I have so many answers I want answered I’m taking this matter further.

If I was a staff member of Marist over this period I’d want this sorted out ASAP. Until it is they are all suspect in my mind.

I’m also considering starting a lobby/support group for Old Boys and their families. Would your family be interested in such a group?

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12
Carlito 10:39 pm
28 Feb 08
#

This totally sickens me to the core and i would be more then willing to join an sort of lobby. The issue is this isnt just a marist problem and just as there is ads and commercials on rape there should be on pedophilea.

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13
Zilog 2:12 pm
01 Mar 08
#

I know Barry well; we had a memorable run-in he’d remember. My rservation is I suspect he’s a lapsed marist seminarian, as a few were. I have details for Shane Hilton (socialised with Lyons), Jan Lieber, Sheelagh Egan, John Bulters, Barry, etc, and intend to meet with them. Kostka’s behaviour was commonly known among the wider marist community by the mid-80’s. Even among families who hadn’t had a boy there for some years. Go figure. Keep you posted…

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14
twist1 11:36 pm
04 Mar 08
#

I was at Marist at the time this was happening in the 80’s. Older students that I knew warned me to stay away from certains teachers and Brothers. Thank God I was never molested. I still feel that the other teachers could have done more, they must have known it more that a rumor.
I probably know some of the people whow are victims, and hope they can stand strong and put these people to justice.

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15
martha 3:39 am
05 Mar 08
#

WELL, WELL, WELL…… THE TIME HAS COME FOR THE ”brother kosta” TO PAY HIS DUES . AS THEY SAY EVERY ‘DOG’ HAS HIS DAY. I HAVE ONLY RECENTLY DISCOVERED THAT MY BROTHER WAS SEXUALLY MOLESTED, HUMILIATED, WHIPPED ON HIS BACKSIDE WITH THE CANE AND… WITH HIS SCHOOL TROUSERS PULLED DOWN BY brother kosta. HE HAD ALSO HAD HIS HAIR PULLED SO HARD THAT MY MOTHER REMEMBERS SEEING BLOOD IN HIS SCALP. AS A CHILD, I USE TO WONDER WHY MY BROTHER CAME HOME WITH BRUISES ON HIS BODY AND WHY HE HAD DETENTION QUITE OFTEN IN THE AFTERNOON’S WHEN SCHOOL HAD CLOSED… SO TODAY, I NOW HAVE THE ANSWERS AS TO WHY MY BROTHER HAS HAD A FEW ”ISSUES IN HIS LIFE AND I CAN HONESTLY AND TRUTHFULLY BIELEVE THAT THIS UTMOST DISGUSTING TREATMENT HE ENDURED IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR SOME OF HIS ACTIONS-INDEFINATELY !
I TRY TO IMAGINE HOW HE MUST HAVE FELT AT THE TIME THIS HAPPENED TO HIM AND THE HURT, ANGER, HELPLESSNESS HE WOULD HAVE CONSTANTLY RE-LIVED EVERY DAY OF HIS LIFE… RIGHT UP UNTIL THIS PRESENT DAY, I CANNOT IMAGINE.
… TO END, I AM GOING TO DO EVERYTHING IN MY POWER TO SEE THAT THIS ‘PIG OF A MAN brother kosta’ gets what he deserves for molesting MY BROTHER ,…… BURN…. IN ….HELL…. BROTHER KOSTA …….. .

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