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Vic Ed Dept sued over pedophile teacher

AAP logoAAP 19/09/2016 Angus Livingston

Victims of a pedophile teacher who was allegedly shuffled from school to school want a "very large" compensation payout from the Victorian Education Department.

Robert Morris was sent back into the classroom after he was acquitted of molesting boys in 1979 - and he immediately offended again.

His 15-year teaching career didn't end until he pleaded guilty to indecently interfering with a schoolboy in 1980.

Morris is serving six years in jail after pleading guilty in March to child sex crimes from the 1970s.

"He was actually charged by police with abusing six different boys (in 1978)," Rightside legal partner Michael Magazanik told AAP on Monday.

"In 1979 he was sent straight back to teaching at a primary school and he immediately resumed offending."

Ten victims have issued writs against Morris and the Education Department over the abuse, and Mr Magazanik said they have ongoing medical treatment that needs funding.

"The effect of Morris' abuse has been catastrophic... the government is facing a very large compensation bill," he said.

Morris pleaded guilty to touching a boy's penis while he got the boy to read a book in front of his class, along with many other instances of sex abuse.

Mr Magazanik said Morris' offending was quickly noticed when it began in the mid-1960s, reported by childen to their parents, and parents brought it to the attention of school officials on a number of occasions.

"Yet despite that, despite his offending having been detected, nothing of any consequence was done, and Morris kept being effectively shuffled from school to school."

A department spokesman said it would be inappropriate to comment on the case as it was before the courts, but said better child abuse reporting requirements are now in place.

"The historic sexual abuse allegations that have come to light following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse have been shocking and disappointing," the spokesman told AAP.

The Victorian government has committed itself to implementing a redress scheme for victims.

Mr Magazanik said Morris was also a cub leader and a junior sport coach, but he was unaware of any offending that might have taken place in those settings.

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