The Marist Brothers covered up sexual crimes committed by a Brother, according to prosecution documents tabled in the Brisbane Magistrates Court. The Marist Order knew that Brother Gregory Carter was a child-abuser but it kept him in the Order and later allowed him to become a headmaster.
Brother Gregory James Carter (born 4 July 1957) pleaded guilty on 17 December 1997 to 15 counts of indecent treatment of a 15-year-old boy ("Mike") who was a boarder in Year 10 at St Augustine's Marist Brothers College in Cairns, Queensland. Carter was sentenced to 18 months jail (eligible for parole after six months).
Mike's parents sent the boy to St Augustine's because they believed it was a safe "Christian" environment. Brother Greg Carter was Mike's housemaster and used this powerful position to sexually abuse the boy at the school.
Carter sent notes to Mike's parents, alleging that the boy was insolent. (This would make it difficult for Mike to report Carter's criminality.)
One night in the late 1980s, while Mike was in bed, Carter entered the dormitory and touched him sexually. Mike then punched Carter, causing Carter's face to bleed. Carter fled from the dormitory, and Mike feared that Carter would get him expelled for punching a teacher. So Mike, wisely, reported the sexual abuse to the principal. The principal was therefore forced to notify Mike's parents, who finally were able to understand the "bad reports" that Carter had been giving the boy.
Mike did not recover well from Carter's abuse of power. The following year, the school complained that Mike was non-co-operative (no wonder!) and it persuaded him to leave. Mike was thus victimised further. This curtailed Mikes' education and when he reached his twenties, he was suffering from unemployment, insomnia, alcohol, aggressiveness, relationship failures and suicide attempts.
Meanwhile, the Marist Brothers looked after Carter's career. Research by Broken Rites indicates that, after the trouble in Cairns, Carter was rewarded by becoming headmaster of the junior school (Years 4, 5, 6) at Marist College, Canberra. The Canberra parents were not aware of Carter's record in Cairns.
Broken Rites has seen Carter's name and photograph (as headmaster) in staff lists, published in the Canberra school's yearbooks in the early 1990s.
Ex-pupils in Canberra have told Broken Rites that Carter was one of the last headmasters in the Australian Capital Territory to cane students as punishment before it was made illegal. Some Canbera pupils had to bare their buttocks to him.
While working in Canberra, Carter lived in the same monastery as Marist Brother Kostka Chute (real name John William Chute) who was jailed in 2008 for committing indecent acts against pupils, aged 13 and 14, at Marist College Canberra between 1985 and 1989.
In 1993 Carter was appointed as principal of St Francis' primary school in Ayr, near Townsville, Queensland. However, in the mid-1990s, the Queensland police conducted a public phone-in about paedophiles — so Mike's parents reported Carter's crimes.
Carter's jail sentence would not prevent him from continuing as a Marist Brother if he so wished. When other Marist Brothers have been convicted, they have been given new non-teaching positions of trust in the Marist order.