WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Marists promote helpline as second brother faces abuse charges

The Society of Mary is inviting anyone who needs help in the area of sexual abuse to phone its helpline.

This follows the arrest of a second brother from Hato Paora Māori boys’ secondary school in Feilding on charges of sexually abusing young boys in his care.

John Louis Stevenson, formerly known as Brother Bernard, appeared before a registrar in the Lower Hutt District Court at the beginning of the month and was remanded without plea to appear again on 1 December.

He faces seven charges for offences alleged to have taken place between January 1979 and August 1982 while he was teaching at the school.

The three complainants were aged between 14 and 16 at the time of the alleged offences.

Stevenson was ordered to surrender his passport, reside in Wellington and not to contact the complainants or Hato Paora School.

Stevenson is the second brother of the Society of Mary from the staff of Hato Paora to be charged with sexual abuse. Andrew Cody was jailed for two and a half years in August for offences against pupils at the school between 1981 and 1984.

The Society of Mary is encouraging anyone who needs help in this area to contact Fr Phil Cody, on the society’s helpline: 0800 764 357.