March 21, 2015
Rachel Browne
The Sydney Morning Herald 

St Joseph's College in Hunter's Hill, where a boy was allegedly assaulted in 1987.
St Joseph's College in Hunter's Hill,
where a boy was allegedly assaulted in 1987.
Photo: James Brickwood

A former Catholic brother has been arrested over a number of sex offences allegedly committed against boys at two Sydney schools in the 1980s.

The 52-year-old man was charged on Friday after a police investigation into allegations he sexually assaulted boys at St Joseph's College in Hunters Hill in 1987 and St Gregory's College in Campbelltown in 1989.

The two students were aged 12 at the time of the alleged sexual assaults.

Both matters were reported to the police in late 2014, with the investigation run by the Campbelltown Local Area Command.

He was charged with four counts of sexual assault (indecent assault under 16 under authority) and six counts of sexual assault (sexual intercourse under 16 under authority).The former brother, who was working at the Marist Brothers schools when the alleged assaults occurred, was arrested at Tweed Heads Police Station on Friday afternoon.

The arrest came on the same day as a former dorm master from St Joseph's was jailed for sexually assaulting a student after nine separate trials spanning 13 years, and more than 30 years after the abuse took place.

John Dennis Maguire, 71, who worked at the school between 1978 to 1986, was sentenced to a minimum sentence of one year and nine months jail for six separate assaults on an 11-year-old boy in 1983 while he was employed as the boy's dorm master. Maguire had previously faced court over sexual assault charges but was acquitted seven times.

The former principal of St Gregory's, Peter Pemble, who stepped down due to ill health in 2008, pleaded guilty to an indecent assault charge last year.

Allegations of child sexual abuse in Marist Brothers schools in the ACT, NSW and Queensland were the subject of an inquiry by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse last year.

The commission heard that the Catholic order's Sydney province received 128 complaints about child sexual abuse in the decade to 2012, according to evidence before the commission. The order has been the subject of more sexual abuse complaints than any in Australia except the Christian Brothers.

The former brother, whose name has not been released, was granted conditional bail to appear at Tweed Heads Local Court on April 13.