Christian Brother John Coswello in court regarding an orphanage

In April 2015, after a committal hearing, the Melbourne Magistrates Court ordered Christian Brother John Francis Coswello (now aged 76) to stand trial. He is charged with child-sexual abuse, which allegedly occurred at St Vincent's Boys Home in South Melbourne during an early stage in  Coswello's career as a Christian Brother. The trial has been placed on a waiting list for the Melbourne County Court in 2016.

On a previous occasion, John Francis Coswello has provided information about his own background. Born on 10 January 1939, he grew up in the St Alipius parish in Ballarat East, Victoria. He did the first two years of his secondary education at St Patrick's Christian Brothers College in Ballarat.

At age 14, he was recruited as an aspirant for a career as a Christian Brother. He completed his secondary education, living with other aspirants, in Christian Brothers training colleges in Melbourne and Sydney. This was followed by a couple of years of spiritual training and teacher training.

In the 1960s, Brother Coswello was a teacher Catholic schools, including at Blackburn (in Melbourne's east) about 1964, in Launceston (Tasmania) in 1965 and at Middle Park (inner-Melbourne) in 1966-1970.

From 1969 (when he was about 30) to 1979, Brother Coswello lived at St Vincent's Boys' Home, 237 Cecil Street, South Melbourne. In 1980-82, he taught at St Joseph's Technical School, South Melbourne.

From 1983 to 2006, he worked at Christian Brothers College (C.B.C.), St Kilda, Melbourne, teaching social-studies subjects. He retired from schools in 2006, and then helped to run an aged-care home for Christian Brothers in Westbury Street, St Kilda.