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Royal Commission: Geelong Grammar expelled victim after abuse report -

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ELEANOR HALL: To Melbourne now and the child sexual abuse Royal Commission has heard this morning that Geelong Grammar School expelled a student after he reported an assault by a staff member.

The witness told the commission that in 1989, he awoke one night in the boarding house to find a man fondling his genitals.

It's now known that the man was boarding house assistant Philippe Trutmann, who was eventually convicted of sexually abusing 41 Geelong Grammar students.

This report from Samantha Donovan and a warning it will contain some distressing information.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: The royal commission witness BIW gave evidence this morning he was an excited 14-year-old when he began boarding at Geelong Grammar's Highton campus in 1989.

But not long after the term began an event changed his life.

BIW: I had only been at the school for about two weeks when I was woken up one night because I felt a hand under my blankets touching my genital area and trying to masturbate me.

I could clearly see a hand rubbing my penis and my testicles and I could hear a person breathing next to me.

I knew it was a male. I lay there extremely scared and I did not know what to do exactly. I kept pretending I was asleep but then I started stretching, pretending I was waking up. I was hoping my actions would stop this person.

It seemed to go on forever and, at one point, he was very aggressive with the way he was rubbing his hand on my genitals.

At this point I turned my back towards him to make it more difficult for him to touch me. I then heard the breathing stop and he pulled his hand out from under the blanket away from my genitals.

After a time, I turned over to face my door and I saw an adult male figure in the doorway. I couldn't see who it was. I stayed laying in my bed extremely scared and not believing what had just happened to me.

I couldn't sleep or do anything. I was scared he could come back at any time and do this again.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: BIW gave evidence he told his mother of the abuse the next morning and she reported it to the boarding house matron, Kate Parsons.

And a couple days later BIW was called in for a meeting with the master of Highton House, Robert Bugg, and the deputy master, Paul Claridge.

In his evidence this morning, BIW called them the principal and vice principal.

BIW: Mr Bugg wanted to know every, to know every specific detail and drilled me like I was in court. I recalled the vice-principal was quite mean to me and I felt they both didn't believe me. They showed me no compassion and questioned everything I was telling them.

I remember during that conversation I told Mr Bugg and the vice-principal that another student had told me that the same thing had happened to them.

Mr Bugg's response was that there was something wrong with that student, basically that he was a write-off.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: BIW told the commission he agreed with Geelong Grammar not to speak of the abuse while the school conducted its own investigation.

But a couple of students later told him they'd seen someone near his room that night.

When BIW saw the deputy master, Paul Claridge, he decided to tell him this.

BIW: I remember the vice-principal exploded and he grabbed me by the back of my collar, lifted me out of my seat and dragged me up to the office. I was made to sit in a private office for about six hours until my mother collected me.

I was told by the vice-principal that I had broken our agreement and that I was in serious trouble.

My mother collected me from the office and told me that she'd spoken to Mr Bugg and the vice-principal and that I had been expelled from the school.

I don't know why, but the matter was never reported to the police.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: It's now known BIW's abuser was his boarding house assistant, Philippe Trutmann.

In 2005, Trutmann was jailed for six and a half years jail for the sexual abuse of 40 Geelong Grammar students.

And he later pleaded guilty to the indecent assault of BIW and was given a suspended sentence of a year.

BIW told the commission his abuse has had long-lasting effects.

BIW: At times, I feel I minimise the abuse I suffered at Geelong because I feel there are other children there who suffered more than I did. I often feel guilty for feeling so much hurt and pain for the abuse I suffered for one night when other children suffered repeated abuse over a longer period.

I felt terrible guilt that I had left other children at school at the hands of a sex offender.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: BIW told the commission that, in 2010 at the age of 35, he felt strong enough to confront what happened to him at Geelong Grammar.

He sued the school and reached a settlement in 2013.

The royal commission hearings into Geelong Grammar's handling of child sex abuse complaints from the 1950s to 2007 are continuing.

ELEANOR HALL: And that's Samantha Donovan, our reporter covering those Geelong Grammar hearings of the child sexual abuse royal commission in Melbourne.