A CATHOLIC organisation that ran a boys' home in Lilydale in the 1960s to '80s has been accused of raping and physically abusing its charges.
The allegations formed part of the submission of Broken Rites, a service offering counselling to abuse victims, to the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse.
The inquiry was told — just days before Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the royal commission — that the Hospitaller Order of St John of God operated a home for orphans, wards of state and boys with intellectual disabilities in Lilydale, where it is alleged:
■ Boys were encouraged to drink alcohol with the brothers, who raped them afterwards.
■ Pack rapes by paedophile brothers were common on Saturday nights, and the victims would attend Mass the next morning.
■ Boys were often doing 30 hours of farm work a week and were inadequately fed.
■ One former inmate was thrown down stairs in his first few days.
The report concluded that most of the alleged paedophiles were deceased and no members of the religious order were currently deployed in Victoria.