Skip to main content

Brother Evans and Brother Roberts: Child Abuse at Edmund Rice College

Edmund Rice College in Wollongong has a storied history, first established as Christian Brothers’ College in 1926. Unfortunately, this legacy is also marked by grave allegations of child sexual abuse. This article briefly outlines the abuse, highlighting key historical points and the subsequent legal ramifications.

Edmund Rice College: A Brief History

Located on its current West Wollongong campus since 1975, Edmund Rice College was originally known as Christian Brothers’ College. The institution has played a significant educational role in the community but faces a troubled past involving severe institutional child sexual abuse allegations.

Significant Inquiries and Commissions

  • NSW Wood Royal Commission (1997): This commission first highlighted the potential abuses within the institution.
  • Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (2017): Further investigations confirmed the involvement of the college in numerous child abuse incidents, stressing the need for systemic changes in handling such cases.

Key Figures Accused

  • Brother John Vincent Roberts: Arrested and sentenced in 2016, Roberts was found guilty of child abuse that took place during the late 1980s. His conviction brought some closure to the victims, with a sentencing of 10 years imprisonment and a non-parole period of 6 years.
  • Brother Michael Evans: Former principal of the college, Evans was implicated in the abuse allegations and was questioned by NSW Police. He committed suicide in 1997 before charges could be laid, leaving many questions unanswered.

Allegations and Accusations

Brother Michael Evans was alleged to have been part of a paedophile ring, a grievous accusation that involved other members of the community, including Father Peter Comensoli. The complexity and depth of these allegations shook the foundation of trust within the educational institution.

Legal Outcomes and Continuing Impact

The legal proceedings, especially Brother Roberts’s sentencing, mark only a part of the journey towards justice and healing for the victims. Ongoing support and legal assistance are crucial for survivors rebuilding their lives.

The dark chapters of Edmund Rice College serve as a reminder of the vigilance needed to protect the most vulnerable. They call on all institutions to maintain strict safeguards and on communities to support those affected by such profound betrayals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Request a free consultation