Hillsong head honcho Brian Houston, founder of the multi-site mega corp church group Hillsong has been officially charged by police for allegedly concealing and covering up his late father’s well-documented sexual abuse and molestation of children in the 1970’s, alleging that he knew boys were being abused, but did nothing. The NYT explains
In a statement, the police alleged that Mr. Houston, now 67, “knew information relating to the sexual abuse of a young male in the 1970s and failed to bring that information to the attention of police.”
Mr. Houston’s lawyer was served a notice for his client to appear in a court in Sydney, Australia, on Oct. 5.
Mr. Houston has denied the allegations and in an emailed statement provided by the church said: “These charges have come as a shock to me given how transparent I’ve always been about this matter. I vehemently profess my innocence and will defend these charges, and I welcome the opportunity to set the record straight.”
The charges stem from a 2019 criminal investigation into reports that a Hillsong church leader “knowingly concealed information about child sexual assault,” according to the police statement.”
They continue further:
In 2014, an Australian royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse found that Mr. Houston had failed to alert police after his father, Frank Houston, confessed to him in 1999 of sexually abusing a seven-year-old boy decades earlier.
“I confronted him. He went extremely dry in the mouth and said, ‘Yes, these things did happen,’” Mr. Houston said, according to transcripts.
The royal commission’s final report found that, “despite Pastor Brian Houston’s evidence that he had no doubt that his father’s conduct was criminal, he made no attempt to report his father to the police at the time the confession was made to him.”
Mr. Houston said during the royal commission hearings that he had suspended his father from preaching at the church but had not reported his behavior because the victim had asked him not to, a claim that the victim has vehemently denied.
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This is a developing story