Ex-Marist students to sue teachers

The Australian

LAWYERS representing more than 30 former students of Marist College in Canberra have mounted a potentially explosive action to sue dozens of individual teachers, after the Catholic order indicated it might use a legal loophole to escape liability for alleged sexual abuse.

Canberra firm Porter Lawyers this week filed papers in the ACT Supreme Court seeking the names of former principals, deputy principals and senior teachers who worked at the private Catholic school from 1970 to 1994. The firm claims that administrators of Marist College had knowledge of sexual abuse inflicted by some teachers, but failed to act.

Porters Lawyers' move follows a press release issued by Brother Alexis Turton for the Marist order on Monday, the day that former Marist College teacher John William Chute, known as Brother Kostka, was jailed for two years for the sexual abuse of six students.

"The Marist Brothers are determined to right the wrongs of the past," Brother Alexis said.

He encouraged victims to go through the private mediation process established by the Catholic church known as Towards Healing, rather than legal action.


Courtesy of News Corporation, The Australian, 2008

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