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Trinity head had 'no idea' of sexual abuse

AAP logoAAP 20/10/2016 Andi Yu

The headmaster of a Sydney private boys' school has told a Royal Commission hearing that he had no idea there was anything sexual about so-called "rumbling" in the boarding house.

Trinity Grammar School headmaster Milton Cujes faced questioning at the child sex abuse Royal Commission in Sydney on Thursday about rape allegations made by two students in 2000.

Mr Cujes, his deputy Peter Green and former teacher Robert Scott all gave evidence that "rumbling" - boys wrestling each other in a non-serious manner - was a normal part of boarding house life.

The prestigious Anglican school in Sydney's inner west is the first to be examined by the inquiry in a fresh set of hearings examining institutional responses to "problematic or harmful sexual behaviour by students".

The commission heard two students claimed they were repeatedly raped with an assortment of dildos, including a 30cm wooden implement made by a boy in woodwork class.

A boy known by the pseudonym CLA made an incident report claiming that on his birthday, a group of older boys taped his legs and raped him with the wooden implement, which they called the Ananconda.

Another boy, CLB, claimed three boys gave him a wedgie, pulled off his pants, blackened his face with boot polish and lifted his legs in the air to simulate rape.

Counsel assisting David Lloyd quoted a line from CLB's report: "One of them made a dildo in wood tech and they use that to stick up peoples' butts but I haven't seen them do that for a while and they didn't use it on me today."

"Are you indicating that you had no idea that there was a sexual element at all in relation to that so called rumbling?" Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald asked Mr Cujes, who is still the headmaster today.

"I had no idea that there was a sexual element, other than boys, how can I say... when you mention sexual element, do you regard that as being, well, I had no idea of the content that has become available," he replied.

Mr Cujes rejected his school had a culture of bullying, saying "the boarding house incident" was isolated.

The boarding house master in 2000, Robert Scott told the commission he did not carry out any formal investigation into the boys' allegations.

Mr Cujes said he trusted the people under him and took on their recommendation that the boys responsible for the attack on CLB be suspended for a weekend - which meant being sent home.

Mr Scott told the commission it was likely some of these boys went home at weekends anyway.

Deputy headmaster Peter Green told the commission he did not believe CLB's rape allegations and did not think it was necessary to involve police.

"The allegations about rapes on earlier occasions and the use of a dildo to stick up boys' bottoms, did you form whether they were sexual assault?" Justice McClellan said.

"Not fully at that stage."

He apologised and said if the same thing happened today, the training he had since received meant he would respond differently.

Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 (for young people aged 5 to 25).

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