Hillsong Pastor and Founder Brian Houston Denies Covering Father's Sexual Abuse

Heard in a Sydney court on Tuesday, Brian Houston's lawyer denied allegations that his client concealed the sexual abuse perpetrated by his father Frank Houston in the 70s. 

Through his lawyer, the founder of the Australian megachurch Hillsong, Brian Houston, pleaded not guilty in a Sydney court on Tuesday (October 5) in a sexual abuse case against his father, Frank Houston.

Brian Houston is accused "of having learned of information relating to the sexual abuse of a young man in the 1970s and of not bringing this information to the attention of the police." the Sydney Morning Herald reveals that court documents allege that Brian Houston knew as early as September 1999 that his father had committed this sexual abuse in 1970, information they would not have brought to the attention of the police, thus protecting Frank Houston from criminal prosecution.

In a statement released in August, the pastor “vehemently” proclaimed his innocence and said he was determined to fight these accusations. "I welcome the opportunity to set the record straight," he added.

Frank Houston died in 2004, he was the leader of the Assemblies of God in New Zealand until 1971.

In a press release published on July 23, Hillsong claimed that after "being informed of his father's actions, Brian Houston confronted his father, reported the matter to the National Executive Assemblies of God in Australia, referred the matter to the Sydney Christian Board of Directors Life Center then made a public announcement to the church. The press release notes that "Brian sought to honor the victim's multiple requests not to inform the police."

In September, Brian Houston resigned as head of the board of directors of Hillsong Church, however, he retained his post as Senior Pastor.

The case will continue in court on November 23.

Camille Westphal Perrier

Image Credit: David L Young / Shutterstock.com

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