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Published: 17 May 2016
Author: Ryan Carlisle Thomas

Christian Brother jailed for sexual abuse of boys at Geelong Orphanage

A former Christian Brother who sexually abused young boys at the St Augustine’s Orphanage in Highton, near Geelong, has been jailed for more than 12 years.

The County Court heard 77 year old William Stuart Houston, known as “Brother Houston” was a teacher and sportsmaster at the Orphanage between 1963 and 1971.

The charges against Houston included multiple counts of buggery and indecent assault of boys in his care who were wards of the State.

In sentencing today, County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd said that Houston’s sexual abuse of the boys was a “disgraceful breach of trust” and described his attacks as “appalling, degrading and humiliating”.

Chief Judge Kidd also commented that Houston had showed no remorse for his crimes and that the harm inflicted on the boys had a “devastating and lasting impact”.

Houston will serve a non-parole period of eight years before he is eligible for release.

The Court heard that Houston joined the Christian Brothers in 1959 and taught at schools in Melbourne and regional Victoria for 40 years. In 1999 he took on a role caring for elderly Christian Brothers in a hostel care facility. He left the Christian Brothers in 2008.

Houston was first questioned by police in relation to the current offences in 2014.

Members of the abuse survivors’ advocacy group the Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN) were in court to support survivors who had given evidence in the case against Houston. CLAN also continued their protest outside the County Court building to call for a fair and just redress scheme for institutional abuse survivors.

Ryan Carlisle Thomas represents survivors of sexual abuse by William Stuart Houston and other Christian Brothers. We have also acted for more than 2000 former Wards of State who suffered physical and sexual abuse in institutional care in Victoria. You can learn more about our institutional abuse practice here.

Follow Ryan Carlisle Thomas on Twitter @rctlaw.

Follow CLAN on Twitter @CLAN_AU.

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