Brian Houston, Hillsong Church founder in Australia, has been charged with allegedly concealing information about his father’s child sexual abuse offences. The charges against the minister are part of an ongoing investigation which started in 2019.
The church leader is charged with concealment of child sex offences. The investigation commenced in 2019 reports that Houston knowingly covered up information that were related to child sexual offences.
Following extensive investigation, the detectives requested to review the brief of evidence from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
According to Houston, the charges came “as a shock” because he claims he has been transparent about the matter. “I vehemently profess my innocence and will defend these charges and I welcome the opportunity to set the record straight,” he said.
Houston is recently living in the U.S.
Hillsong has also put out a statement saying that “[Brian Houston] will defend this and looks forward to clearing his name.”
The Hillsong founder failed to report his father’s abuse after he confessed to it in 1999, according to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Houston’s father, Frank, has been accused of abusing nine underage boys while he was a pastor. Frank Houston passed away in 2004.
The younger Houston said that when he learned about the matter, he immediately confronted his father. He also reported it to the National Executive Assemblies of God in Australia and the Board of Sydney Christian Life Centre. They then subsequently made a public announcement to the church saying that Brian sought to honor the victim’s requests not to inform the police.
Brian Houston said he was devastated to learn about his father’s abuse. He said that he had to come to terms that he was not the person he thought he was
In the 1960s and 1970s, Brett Sengstock claims he was abused by Houston’s father for more than five years. Brian Houston’s handling of the situation has been criticized by Sengstock, who accuses him of covering up his father’s wrongdoings..