17 February 2008


| aa1990
Join the conversation

Bad Brother John Kostka Chute may not be the only one to face up to court in Canberra this year…… Following on from stories relating to Marist College Canberra, and the abuse (both sexual, physically and mental) felt by many boys at the hands of many Marist Brothers and some of their lay teachers….we bring you following update (no doubt one of many): Comment by BerraBoy68 — 12 February, 2008 @ 9:58 pm Kostka goes to court on 21 Feb – open to the Public. I’d love to organise a large group of Old Boys to be at the court for Kostka’s arrival. Any body up for a public show of support for those effected?

BTW: expect another lay teacher from Marist Canberra to be charged very soon. This is from a very reliable source!In the last 40 years, I wonder if we will ever know even a small fraction of the numbers of boys that were:
a) Sexually Abused;
b) Physcially Abused;
c) Mentally Abused;
d) All of the above

More to the point, I wonder if we will ever see a list of those people in authority within Marist that abuse was reported to (time and time again) and yet they sat by and did nothing.

History: for reference the check out what this is all about here and here and here

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

Looking for a 1982 year 7 Marist year book can anyone help? Thanks

finkerace said :

Comming to marist from a NSW public school in the late 70s (til early 80s) I could not believe the bullying culture in our year that seemed to thrive. In comparison to all 6 schools I had previously attended (including both private and public) the harshness of the environment seemed rampant and unchecked. I remember both Paul Lyons and Br.Kostke (and his labrador)and both treated me well. I never knew of anyone that had been molested by them and really do feel for the victims. As myself and other former students remember our time at marist as being the worst experience in our lives so far,I’m wondering if this underlying evil was the cause of some of the horrific behaviours exhibited by some of our fellow students during these years?
I’m sorry for hating anyone who was just reacting to abuse by these monsters.

Thanks finkerace, although I don’t think an apology is necessary. Kids will be kids and as we’re finding out perhaps people were, as you say simply reflecting (or even deflecting) the behaviors they were encountering from others.

Comming to marist from a NSW public school in the late 70s (til early 80s) I could not believe the bullying culture in our year that seemed to thrive. In comparison to all 6 schools I had previously attended (including both private and public) the harshness of the environment seemed rampant and unchecked. I remember both Paul Lyons and Br.Kostke (and his labrador)and both treated me well. I never knew of anyone that had been molested by them and really do feel for the victims. As myself and other former students remember our time at marist as being the worst experience in our lives so far,I’m wondering if this underlying evil was the cause of some of the horrific behaviours exhibited by some of our fellow students during these years?
I’m sorry for hating anyone who was just reacting to abuse by these monsters.

Canberra Gardener7:40 pm 21 May 08

hargy, that’s for the information.

Another bit of info to the puzzle. We have been trying to piece together whether other Marist college’s around Australia also failed in their duty of care by knowingly “transferring” the offending Kostka to another area to continue reoffending.

With friends like Robert “dolly” Dunn it is hardly surprising that it was all so f%&ked up. Can I ask that your pass on what you know to Jason Porter from Porter Lawyers, who is helping a number of us ‘finalise’this matter.(if you haven’t already)

Not just the 80’s. Kostka was the primary teacher at Marist Penshurst in the early 70’s.
He loved to get the young lads, myself included, on his lap and touch them.Robert “dolly” Dunn was also a teacher there at the time.Wonderful place, the Marist organisation.


I thought the MCC wiki entry could do with expanding on this matter and have made a few basic entries.


Disproving once-and-for-all this nonsense that the order was unaware of his type. Worse still, where was he from 1953 – 1976? How many did he abuse in his earlier lives, and where? Searching really old year books in really old marist colleges may reveal more. But the notion a 45-year old suddenly starts abusing IS JUST RIDICULOUS.

Unless things have changed dramatically (Principal at school assembly encourages students to report abuse; yeah – right!) proudmccoldboy is way-out-of-touch. It’s a CESSPIT. Sadly the GREAT majority of older old boys I speak with utterly HATE the joint. and yes, Greg WALSH has long been the Marist order’s chief ‘counsel’. Wonder if criminal records can be searched. I’d like a wager the name ‘Chute’ is there in the bowels of legal history.

Again I’m with zee on this.

For mine, the Marist Order has actively covered this, and other abuses up. Today’s CAnbera time makes it clear that Kostka’s lawyer has represented other Marist Brothers in sex cases around the country… READ THAT AGAIN BEFORE CONTINUING… Yes, that’s right there have been so many that Marist retain the same lawyer each time. Again. lets have some perspective..the school stayed quite on Kostka and Lyons until their deeds were reported in the Canberra Times last year. Ask them if they gave Lyons a reference to go to Dara (if so, the Dara parents have a ready-made lawsuit against Marist) and where are his employment records? A wonderful education, I’d debate it. Best thing I got out of it was great life-long friends. That said, there were some golden teachers.

Good for you mccob2005 – no one abused you or your mates. Assuming they’d tell you when you asked. Sometimes abused victims can take years to admit the abuse even to themselves, let alone speak to friends about it. But as I said above, I think its great that a vast majority can sail through the school blissfully free of this problem. But this is not an issue where 99% is good enough.

So I’m glad you can march along with your fingers in your ears and your head held high. But frankly I think you’re demonstrating a moronic failure to grasp the situation that you might later regret.

You’re right, I don’t accept the viewpoint that you should just say “well it didn’t happen to my knowledge while I was there, so in fact the school is just great.”

Be proud of an institution where it’s proven and known that child abuse occurred at the hands of multiple abusers? Be proud of an institution about to be tested further in the courts as to the extent to which it failed its duty of care towards students?

All I’m saying is you might at least cool your heels and reserve your judgement.

Thanks porudmccoldboy. I too am a recent graduate and the above stories as tragic as they read are totally foreign to me and my mates. I attended Marist for 7 years and none of this stuff went on as I’ve also spoken with our year group. The stories told above are bloody sad and tragic and no doubt some bad stuff has happened and needs to be dealt with but it’s not my experience and most of my mates in recent (7-9) years. Sadly Zee (how the f*** would you know) can’t accept that there are hundreds of old boys – perhaps thousands who have graduated like me and you who are proud and have no problem in saying so. Let’s get some balance to this page as it’s only one side being told.

From this 550-word article http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23270351-421,00.html headlined “Lawsuit alleges decades of pedophilia” in relation to the civil case being levelled at Marist College Canberra:

There are five different teachers currently being mentioned in the lawsuit. It does not mention if they were lay staff or Brothers.

There were ‘several dozen’ complainants (not ‘several dozen complaints’), over a period from 1970 to 1993.
Considering the school opened in 1968, this is pretty early on for problems to have gone unaddressed until now.

Jason Parkinson (who has posted here previously) claims it may be the largest paedophile case in Australian history.

Porters Lawyers allege that Brother Kostka was only the last of five brothers and lay teachers to abuse boys at the college.

5) Porters allege there was what seems to be a major breach of duty of care whle on an overseas trip in the 70s.

6) Porters have claimed that the school ignored a complaint from parents against another lay teacher (the article indicates this was not Paul Lyons) involving sexual contact with students, and later this staff member went on to abuse further students in their care at a camp.

It continues on to make several other claims, quite awful and terrible.

For those who were thinking this was merely a few small incidents centered on one or two staff, ensure your seatbelt is secure, and any emotional baggage is safely stowed, turbulence approaches.

Anyone want to do their Facebooky thing again and draw attention to RiotACT?

Again, if anyone wants to contact Jason Parkinson, http://www.porterslawyers.com.au or lawyers@porterslawyers.com.au (for the civil case) or http://www.afp.gov.au/contact.html (for criminal charges)

Interesting times are ahead.

More news coverage:

Marist Brother pleads guilty to assaulting boys
Eighteen charges were originally laid against Brother Kostka Chute – also known as John William Chute – but today in the ACT Magistrates Court seven of those were dropped because of legal limitations.

The dropped charges related to offences allegedly committed before 1985, when charges relating to sexual indecency had to be made within a year.

Civil proceedings likely after Brother admits to assault

Lawyer for some of the victims Jason Parkinson says the court action is not over yet.

“Civil proceedings will now be filed soon in these Marist College matters,” he said.

I agree with Zee. I doubt that any Marist Brother, including the much venerated Bro Mark, didn’t know about kostka’s actions and teh allegations made by parents to various headmasters over the years. They stuck their collective head in the sand to cover up the supposedly good name of the order. Their first responsibility should alsoways have been to the boys and not the name of an archaic order.

I was once a proud MCC old boy too, and spent several years trying to help get old boys together as a society. Now I understand why so many Old Boys told me that they would only be involved in an Old Boys Association if it had nothing to do with the actual school. Another significant number told me they simply wanted nothing to do with Marist. Sadly, once headmaster told me some parents blame the school for the suicide of their son, due to “some unfortunate experiences during his time at Marist”.

This issue is not over yet, far from it. Trust me…..

“The brothers and teachers there today are a really caring group of people”

No offense proudmccoldby, but how the f**k would you know? Plenty of kids sailed through the college in decades past, blissfully unaware of that child abuse of their classmates was going on around them. You’re going to make a public endorsement that that a formerly sick institution is squeaky clean now and stand behind that? How would you know?

Has there been a recent independent assessment of the support structures for children reporting abuse at MCC? How often does the headmaster speak directly to the student body to inform them what’s right and what’s not in interactions with a teacher? Has MCC and the marist order been properly held to account for abetting the abuses of the past? Maybe you should think about all those questions before you give your unqualified support to every teacher in the school today.

As for the “Marist brothers who reluctantly are obliged to help him”, spare me. This is an organisation that ‘disappeared’ Kostka after allegations were made to them and then sent him off to a role where he STILL HAD CONTACT with children. Save your sympathy and your Christianity for the real victims.

proudmccoldboy3:16 pm 21 Feb 08

I’m a relatively recent graduate of the college and have to say that it’s very sad that the good name of the current college has to be besmirched by the terrible evils of past members. The brothers and teachers there today are a really caring group of people and Kostka’s actions have really damaged not only his victims but also the present Marist community, not to mention the Marist brothers who reluctantly are obliged to help him as he has noone else in the world, and it’d be highly unchristian for them to just cut all ties…. As a person who loved their time at Marist I’m hurting, and I know a lot of teachers, students and brothers are the same.

I’m not saying it can’t be used anonymously, just saying I don’t care who knows my views on what’s happening at Marist.

You can’t use something like facebook anonymously????? I use every site I visit anonymously. This computer scientist would be VERY interested to know how something like facebook verifies your identity….. Come on, blow me away!

Zee- problem fixed. I’ve posted my two cents worth on the Facebook page you provided. What the hell…anonymity is over-rated anyway and these kids have to stop idolizing people that covered up for alleged pedophiles.

No-one can convince me that any Brother who served in the order over the past 20 years didn’t know about Kostka and Lyons. Bro. Mark was also at the school when at east one family told the school never to contact them as they blame the school for the death of their son. This was confirmed to me by the, then, headmaster (the last Bro. to run the school), when he told me the parents blame the school for some ‘unfortunate incidents’ that occurred to the boy when he was at Marist.

The-RiotACT has an advantage over Facebook for bringing these things up: Anonymity. (Limited to the will of Admin, though)

Nobody of Facebook-median age in a group of all-males in a small-town like a Canberra wants to use the ‘abuse’ or ‘paedophile’ words.

Retribution isn’t hard, and knowing the Marist way of seeing things, there will be groups like “I wasn’t pretty enough to be abused by Mr X” or “Student Y was a filthy freak when I knew him at highschool, he is full of shit”.

Not that I would, but I’m just saying.
And behaviour like that reinforces the guilt\isolation\abuse, which would be why it isn’t mentioned.

I was at Marist in the 80s and early 90s. The place could be demolished tomorrow for all I care. For the abuse Kostka and his kind caused a friend of mine, I have zero doubt about the truth of the ‘alleged’ crimes, and I have zero doubt about the culpability of the school leadership and the Marist order in deliberately and systematically protecting Kostka (and probably others) all these years.

There’s a ‘Marist College Old Boys’ group on facebook by the way if you haven’t seen it, with close to 600 members.


There hasn’t been a single comment on the group wall in relation to this issue when I looked just now. Either none of the young uns there are discussing it or any discussion of this is being deleted from the group by the admins. I wonder which. Maybe this class action lawyer Jason could get a message out through them.

West_Kambah_4eva9:22 am 15 Feb 08

MAelinar – spill the beans. This thread is full of people making wild claims and not delivering. You can’t just tease and then shut your legs. Now do it – tell us all the inside story of the OJ case. I’m pretty sure youre safe from being sued.

All those that want to show support for the Kostka’s victims – I’ll find out what time the show starts so we can maybe meet up outside the court

Barney – you obviously don’t know any Marist guys. My family didn’t have much money and were exempted school fees much of the time. I know guys who went there even worse off than me. This isn’t to say that Marist’s generosity excuse the crimes of those that failed in their responsibilities.

My point is, if you want to make a case, get your fact straight. If you want to name your school, go ahead, we promise we won’t laugh too hard. If not STFU.

I’ve said what I have to say.

barking toad6:16 pm 14 Feb 08

I see anger, envy and victimhood in your comments barney.

Did you fail plasticine in primary too?

Or do you envy those that got botties touched?

have requested the Ed to include the word alleged. thanks for all the legal advice… I am sure glad I didn’t have to pay for it..this time!

Caf: that’s more on the money. See you at the bar.

peterz: It’s called “sub-judice contempt”.

Hey Maelinar: Didn’t OJ get convicted in a civil court after the criminal trial?

PS: I blame the Meida, the police and the courts!!

Caf: You make a good point with regards to prejudicing a trial, but this is more of a fair trial argument whereby memebers of the jury can’t come in with a pre-determined view on the facts of the case (be it via media/online reporting), without considering all the facts…

people need to consider that in their postings – and also if they think the posting would help or hinder the prosecution.

Caf: I think you have the wrong context here. For clarity on contempt of court:

A person is guilty of a contempt of the court if while
the court is sitting, wilfully:
a) interrupts the proceedings;
b) misbehaves before the court;
c) insults a person constituting the court.

A person is guilty of contempt of the court if they
wilfully insults or obstruct:
a) a person going to a courtroom for the purpose
of constituting the court;
b) a person leaving a courtroom having
constituted the court.

A person is guilty of contempt of the court when they
do not take an oath or affirmation as requested by the
A person is guilty of contempt of the court when they
refuse give evidence, which they are competent and
compellable to give.
A person is guilty of contempt of the court if they do
not, in the face of the court, comply with a lawful
direction of the court.

A person who:
a) having been served with a summons to attend
as a witness, without reasonable excuse, does
not attend as required by the summons; or
b) having been required by the court to produce a
record or thing to the court, without reasonable
excuse, does not do so
is guilty of a contempt of court unless the omission is
an offence.

A person is guilty of a contempt of the court if:
a) the court makes a lawful order ordering a
person to do an act (other than to pay money)
or to cease (temporarily or permanently) doing
an act;
b) the person, without reasonable excuse, does
not comply with the order; and
c) another written law does not provide a means
for punishing non-compliance with or enforcing
the order.

That book by OJ of “How I would kill my wife if I were going to kill her” (after the trial) didn’t help public perception, though.

Hardcore duck – OJ didn’t murder his wife. A relation of mine was in the US at the time and knows a little more of the story than I do, but he has confirmed in my mind beyond shadow of a doubt that OJ Simpson did not kill his wife.

Definetly blame the media for their portrayal of the issue.

Peterz, you’re wrong. Once someone is charged, you can be charged with contempt of court for prejudicing the trial, even if what you say is true. Derryn Hinch went to gaol for this.

I stuffed my html tags there, apologies to any of you with eyes who tried to claw them out.

I wasn’t actually proposing you have it done, aa1990.
But bear in mind that you and you alone are responsible for what you post here.

Doing it -before- someone is properly charged could leave you wide open to defamation\injurous falsehood claims.

People have tried similar things here, here,and here on RiotACT before, but only after charges were filed, and were generally met with scorn and refusal to change things.

There was a mention somewhere more official about what RiotACT will do after the fact, but it runs along the lines of
You said XYX and ZZZ and ZZZ in not true I swear!

Email a reply to what has been said it will run it with equal prominence to the original story. Or email ( root@the-riotact.com ) and ask to amend it, or demand to take it down and explain why we should.
If we agree with you then we will, otherwise you can eat a dick and we will hang you out to dry.

In the case of legal demands for information, we will comply when served with valid threats or warrants.
Otherwise, see above.

EG: Mr Robert Ayling. (see here)

Having had ACT Scouting hunt me down for linking someone before the courts to their Precious Annual Theatrical\Business Entity, there are people that will go to great lengths to find information to work with and then hunt you to convince you they’ve been greviously wronged.
Some of them are better at it than others, but I knowwhere the information came from and fixed the broken source.

(PS: Thanks Jazz, I may have another one for you mid-March!)

[Ed. Close enough. The actual details are in the FAQ & cover what we’ll moderate and what we wont.]

I am glad to see that at the same time as you all enjoy your free speach that you all try and take your legal obligations seriously… but I must say, sometimes a bit too seriously.

If this is a forum for public information then as long as you know first hand that what you are saying is true, you are free to say it (full stop).

Or what you are saying or passing on, has come from what you determine to be a reliable third party source (newspaper, police report, or reliable person – up to you to decide) then you are also free to report it here (full stop).

If you are just making it up, and it defames anyone, I suggest you take some real legal advice before you type any further… big brother is watching.

Stick to what you al ob

good point Skidbladnir… when anyone find out who it is please use the words…related to the above speculation….Mr. BFI has been charged by police for his alleged crimes….against boys at Marist College….

Do you think that should do it?

You can have this one edited, as the moment someone posts a name it will link the two in the All Seeing Public Eye that is Google.

So you can google for Australian hits connected to their name, and tada, you get an article called ABUSER\PEDOPHILE TO BE CHARGED.
(even when they havent yet been formally charged, only mentioned in that article)

Sorry Spectra…We all love a good Headline. Will be more careful next time one of them gets charged.

McCann not Johnson. This story just put Johnson on my mind.

Using the word “alleged” isn’t going to stop someones reputation from being tarnished permanently.

It was alleged that OJ Simpson killed his wife. Even though he got let off, I will always think of him as a fruity murderer.

It is alleged that the Johnson’s killed their child. Even though there are no charges, I will always think that they accidentally gave her an overdose so they could go out and party.

So even if it is only alleged that this Brother sodomized a few schoolboys and he is never convicted, I will always think of him as a kiddy fiddler.

I blame the influence of the media.

Dammit, forgot to close the italics tag. You all get the idea though 🙂

Charged and convicted are the key words here. No one is saying that the person had been proven guilty in a court of law…so no need to say alleged in the same context as charged.

What the hell are you talking about? The headline clearly lables the person being charged as an “ABUSER/PEDOPHILE”. It’s presented as a statement of fact. There’s no other possible way to read it.

Thanks Barney, and your new friend Maelinar. Can we now get back to the topic at hand!

Any further news on the “alleged” chrages ?


Would it just be quicker to find anybody that did not get bummed whilst at Marist ?

Comment by Mælinar — 14 February, 2008 @ 2:32 pm

😮 Perhaps.

I’d rather be tainted with a “failure to complete secondary schooling badge” than be associated with a rich-boy/wanna-be-rich-boy private school, tainted by child molesters etc!

Dear Legal Eagles:

Charged and convicted are the key words here. No one is saying that the person had been proven guilty in a court of law…so no need to say alleged in the same context as charged.

If they are charged, they are chagred. It may however be that the offences are “alleged”…but that goes without saying and no one here has suggested that they have been found guilty (by a court of law).

The public (and those in the know) are free to express their opinion at law….as long as they don’t wrongly defame, one of these “upstanding” members of our community (you must be kidding!!)

However, if the chrages are proved to be true, or one knows that they are true (now or in the future)…then there is no basis for defamation!

So come one, come all, let us, the police, the courts and most importantly the Marist Abusers know what we know and what we think!

Would it just be quicker to find anybody that did not get bummed whilst at Marist ?

barking toad2:27 pm 14 Feb 08

Perhaps barney failed to graduate at melrose.




Everyone who went to Marist

They haven’t yet been charged.

West_Kambah_4eva1:10 pm 14 Feb 08

Just tell us the other persons name for Gods sake, dont be a tool.

OpenYourMind212:51 pm 14 Feb 08

Yes we do need this being splashed around. Marist is still doing their utmost to cover it all up.
Victims will be paid hush money.
The truth of this whole matter is even darker than what is so far emerging. There is suggestion that multiple teachers were working in the 80s in collusion at Marist. I hope the whole truth eventually comes out.

Marist needs to be shutdown. It produces the most annoying bunch of dorks ever. Innocent until proven guilty for sure, but maybe we can make allowances in Marist’s case. It’s full of private school peddo’s.

Do we really need to be splashing this all over the Internet? Surely damage could be done to the prosecution’s case if there’s evidence of details leaking into the public arena?

Dealing with the offences committed and the damage done is vital. The criminal and civil courts are the place to deal with that.

Would I be correct in thinking that the allegations all relate to matters some years ago? (Although I can imagine they remain fresh and horrid to those damaged). In other words, for the present, (a) they obviously accept there was a problem and (b) are they acting so as to prevent its recurrence?

Er…shouldn’t that headline include the word “alleged”? (Sorry, “ALLEGED”).
Blah blah, innocent until proven guilty etc. You know what I’m saying.

Yeah, I’d like to be there to show my support. I was in the class of 91.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.