Call for Witnesses – Kostka ChuteSally Cox
John William Chute, also known by his religious name as Brother Kostka, was a teacher and principal at a large number of schools operated by the Marist Brothers in Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. He was a sexual predator who abused numerous young boys over a lengthy period of time.
In 2008 Chute was convicted of 19 child sex offences against six former students during 1985 to 1989. He pleaded guilty. Chute was jailed for two years in 2009 and served a further year of periodic detention.
Released from Prison
Chute was released from prison after serving his sentence and currently resides in a nursing home suffering from Parkinson’s disease, dementia and a range of other health problems.
In March 2019 Justice Mossop of the Supreme Court of the ACT, found there was evidence to sustain guilty verdicts for a further 13 counts of indecent assault of a minor and one charge of an act of indecency with a minor. One charge of buggery without consent and a further charge of indecent assault of a minor were not made out. However, due to his poor health, Chute was found not fit to plead and so no records of guilt or conviction were recorded.
It was Justice Mossop’s view that given the multitude of health concerns, the possibility of further offending conduct is negligible. While the Supreme Court of the ACT might believe he no longer poses a threat to society, his extensive years of offending mean there were many more instances of abuse for which Chute has not been charged and the effects of his despicable and depraved acts continue to reverberate throughout the community.
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Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse exposed extensive knowledge of Chute’s lengthy period of offending. The Commission’s enquiry revealed the Marist Brothers had received complaints from 48 children allegedly abused by Chute between 1959 and 1990.
One of the most shocking revelations if that other people, including Marist Brothers and Provincials, knew Chute was abusing children as far back as in 1962 and failed to act.
In 1962, when Chute was a teacher at St Anne’s in Bondi, NSW, Marist Brothers, Brother Walter Cranney and Brother Des Phillips both knew that Chute had admitted to sexually abusing a child at St Anne’s primary school in Bondi.
Brother Phillips, the Community Superior at the time, failed to inform the Provincial of Chute’s admission to sexually abusing a child, which was required by the Marist Brothers policy on reporting at the time.
It is arguable that this gross failure to report meant that many more people were abused.
Marist College Penshurst
Whilst Chute was the principal at Marist College Penshurst, he was also working alongside notorious convicted paedophile, Robert “Dolly” Dunn during 1971 and 1972. It has been reported that Dunn “dobbed” Chute in to the school after learning one of the students had been abused by Chute, potentially to deflect from his own depraved abuses. Chute was subsequently moved to Marcellin Junior School in Coogee in 1973.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse uncovered a large amount of information in relation to the Marist Brothers and Chute. The Commission’s findings were published in their report called Case Study 13 into the Marist Brothers. Their key findings in relation to Chute included:
- The Marist Brothers did not keep any written records of the accumulated allegations against Chute.
- Between 1962 – 1972 and 1983 – 1993, the relevant Provincial of the Marist Brothers took no, or no adequate, steps to ensure that Chute did not have contact with children through his work as a Marist Brother.
- The Marist Brothers did not report any allegations of child sexual abuse to the police in the period 1962 to 1993.
- After Chute’s removal from teaching in 1993, the Marist Brothers received complaints from 48 of Chute’s former students alleging they had been sexually abused whilst students. 40 of those from Marist College, Canberra.
- Catholic Church Insurance found three prior Provincials – Brothers Duffy, Weldon and Howard had knowledge of Chute’s offending behavior but failed to act to stop it from occurring again.
Schools Where Chute Worked
According to documents submitted to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Chute worked at the following locations, during the noted years:
|Date/s||Workplace / Location||Position / Job Area|
|3 July 1952 to 15 August 1952||Marist Brothers High, Maitland||Primary|
|16 August 1952 to 31 December 1952||Kogarah Marist High||Secondary|
|1 January 1953 to 31 December 1957||Marist Rosalie||Primary|
|1 January 1958 to 31 December 1958||Marist Brothers High School, Mosman Primary||Principal|
|1 January 1959 to 31 December 1960||Marcellin College, Randwick||Principal, Primary|
|1 January 1961 to 31 December 1962||St Anne’s, Bondi Beach||Primary, Assistant Superior|
|1 January 1963 to 31 December 1963||Marist Primary, Queanbeyan||Assistant Superior, Primary|
|1 January 1964 to 31 December 1966||Villa Maria School, Hunters Hill||Assistant Superior, Primary|
|1 January 1967 to 18 July 1969||St Joseph’s School (later known as St Carthage’s School), Lismore||Principal of Primary School|
|19 July 1969 to 31 December 1972||Marist College Penshurst||Principal, Primary|
|1 January 1973 to 31 December 1974||Marcellin Junior, Coogee||Primary|
|1 January 1975 to 30 June 1975||Marist Brothers Parramatta||Principal|
|1 July 1975 to 31 January 1976||Frigboug, Second Novitiate||N/A|
|1 February 1976 to 16 August 1987||Marist College, Canberra||Secondary|
|18 August 1987 to 30 June 1988||Gonzaga University, Spokane||Study Trip|
|1 July 1988 to 31 December 1993||Marist College, Canberra||Secondary, Religious Education Coordinator|
|1 January 1994 to 13 January 1997||Champagnat Centre, Dubai||General Duties|
|14 January 1997 to 31 December 2001||Marist Farmhouse, Mittagong||Assistant Community Leader|
|1 January 2002 to 31 December 2007||Marist Centre, Mittagong||Assistant Community Leader|
|1 January 2008 to 23 June 2008||Marist Brothers, Blacktown||Community Support|
|23 June 2008||Cast out of the Marist Community||N/A|