A ST JOHN of God brother who was accused of sex assault in the order's Victorian homes but was never charged, avoided extradition to New Zealand in 2004 to face similar charges on the grounds he was suffering dementia.
William John Lebler, who was living in Australia in the mid-2000s, avoided extradition to New Zealand for serious sex assault charges at another of the order's homes because he was suffering from ''borderline dementia,'' according to a judgment by magistrate Hugh Dillon made in the New South Wales Local Court in 2005.
Documents prepared for the order as part of victim settlement negotiations in Victoria name Lebler as being accused of abuse by two former residents of the order's homes here.
Another brother, Bernard Kevin McGrath, was successfully extradited from Australia and convicted over assaults on boys in the 1960s at the order's New Zealand home.
The order has since paid about $5 million in compensation relating to around 200 abuse claims in New Zealand.
The allegations of abuse by the brothers in two different states and overseas raise concerns about whether suspected paedophile brothers were shifted interstate or to New Zealand after complaints were made.
On Friday, The Age revealed that a group of 15 religious brothers are suspected of the sexual abuse of more than 40 boys in homes run by the order in Cheltenham and Lilydale between the 1950s and the 1980s.
Yesterday, a spokesman for the order said that Lebler was now dead. The spokesman said McGrath was no longer a brother and the order had no idea of his whereabouts.
Documents show that St John of God brothers were involved in scores of attacks over decades on children at a special school they ran in NSW.
The order yesterday confirmed it was co-operating with a police investigation into the matter. Allegations against the order in NSW include drugging, restraining and raping a boy at Kendall Grange, a residential school for intellectually disabled boys.
Asked yesterday why Victorian police had not pursued the allegations of abuse here by the brothers, a state government spokesperson said the government had established the inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations. ''As the matters raised are the subject of that inquiry, the Victorian government does not wish to pre-empt its findings or outcomes.''
A police spokesperson said police had made a submission to the inquiry and making further comment might prejudice those proceedings.
Compensation claim summary documents compiled for the order allege abuse involving at least 15 boys occurred at Kendall Grange regularly from the 1960s to the mid-1980s.
One document reveals how a Kendall Grange boy alleged he was abused by two brothers in the early 1980s.
One of the brothers has faced child abuse charges in New Zealand while the other was the subject of 11 different allegations of abuse in Victoria but has never been charged here.