The following article was forwarded to me by the BrokenRites team this morning. If this is what Kostka can expect when he is sentenced later this month for sexually abusing students at Marist College Canberra, the system really is broken. Note also the reference in the article to Marist Brothers spokesman ‘Alexis Turton’. This is the Brother that Kostka is currently living with pending his sentencing. Turton seems to be a full time carer for alleged child abusers within the Marist order.
In any event, 18 months for abusing 8 students seems incredibly light! Hopefully the ACT system might provide greater justice for those abused… but I’m not holding my breath!
Marist brother jailed for 18 months
Australian Associated Press
The Age website, March 10, 2008 – 7:12PM
A Catholic brother who molested eight students at a Sydney school in the 1970s could be a free man as early as next year, after a judge on Monday jailed him for at least 18 months.
Ross Francis Murrin, 52, was 18 when he was appointed a teacher at the Marist Brothers’ school Daceyville, in Sydney’s east, in 1974.
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Murrin went on to molest eight students, aged between nine and 11, who were in his care.
The abuse often occurred when Murrin asked the boys to come to his desk and invited them to sit on his lap.
He would then fondle them in front of the rest of the class.
A number of the offences took place on a religious retreat or during detention, with one boy molested while the class was in the library watching a movie.
The most serious incident occurred during a weekend, when Murrin grabbed one of the victims from behind and pinned him to the floor before pulling his pants down and trying to kiss him.
Murrin himself had been habitually sexually abused, between the ages of eight and 16, by an older cousin.
He taught in the Marist system until two of his victims came forward to the church in August 2002.
In the Sydney District Court on Monday, he was jailed for a maximum three years and three months on 17 charges of indecent assault.
He pleaded guilty to all counts and admitted there were other occasions he had abused the children for which he had not been charged.
Judge Helen Murrell said the offences were generally “impulsive or opportunistic”, but Murrin’s position of authority over the students was an aggravating factor.
“The offender breached the trust reposed in him by his pupils, their parents and the church,” Judge Murrell said.
“The victims … were affected by having witnessed earlier assaults. They felt violated, ashamed and isolated.”
The fact that Murrin molested the students openly in front of one another indicated he had, at the time, little insight into the extent to which his behaviour was “morally reprehensible”, the judge said.
However, he had since voluntarily undertaken a nine-month residential rehabilitation program for sex-offending clergymen, and was at little risk of re-offending, Judge Murrell said.
The fact he was charged under the laws of the 1970s had resulted in the low sentences, the judge said.
“In 1974, non-custodial sentences were common for offences of this type,” she said.
“(Since then) the community has come to … understand that authority figures, even figures of religious authority, are not immune from such conduct.”
For some of the victim’s families, on Monday was the first time they had heard the details of Murrin’s offending.
The father of one victim, who died of a drug overdose in 1987 and took the secret of Murrin’s abuse to his grave, left the court overcome by emotion.
Speaking outside court, Marist Brothers spokesman Alexis Turton apologised to the victims on behalf of the order.
With time already served, Murrin will be eligible for parole in July next year.
© 2008 AAP