Sunday, 6 July 2008

Call for sexual abuse investigation

Dozens of alleged victims are launching civil action against other former teachers.

Former students of Canberra's Marist College are forming a lobby group to call for a full investigation into sexual abuse allegations at the school.

John William Chute, who taught at Marist under the religious name of Brother Kostka in the 1980s, is now behind bars for molesting students.

Dozens of alleged victims are also launching civil action against other former teachers.

Former student Mike Desmond says those who attended the school 20 years ago deserve to know the full extent of the sexual abuse.

"There's a lot of comment being passed around Canberra, or across Australia, just expressing discontent with the way things are going with what's happened, the general culture at Marist over the last 20 or 30 years," he said.

"Myself and a couple of ex-students thought it would be good to get together a forum or a group so we can discuss this and hopefully get some resolution for the victims."

Marist College Principal Richard Sidorko says the school has always encouraged students to come forward.

"We wanted anyone who was a potential victim or who had been a victim, their families, or others to come forward and to let us know, to make it known," he said.

"The other thing we did right from the start was to take an approach of openly and honestly communicating with the college community."

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