Brian Houston was told father would be jailed if charged over child abuse: court

Hillsong founder Brian Houston told a meeting of Pentecostal church leaders in 1999 that he had received legal advice that his father, then a high-profile pastor, would “certainly be jailed” if his alleged child abuse were dealt with in court. the courts, a sydney court. it’s been said

Houston, 68, was charged last year with concealing a felony indictable offense for his decision not to inform police about the accusation against his father in the late 1990s, and his father’s subsequent admission when Houston was raised it.

Brian Houston arrives at Downing Center Local Court on Wednesday.Credit:nick moire

Houston was the president of the national executive of the Assemblies of God network of Pentecostal churches in the late 1990s when he first learned of the allegation that his father, Frank Houston, had sexually abused Brett Sengstock, of seven years, in 1970.

Houston has pleaded not guilty to concealing the crime from her father and will defend the charge primarily on the grounds that she had a “reasonable excuse” for not reporting the crime.

His lawyer, Phillip Boulten SC, told the court when hearings began this week that his client believed Sengstock did not want the matter reported to the police, and further that between 1999 and the death of Frank Houston in 2004, he could having been denounced by several other people, including the victim herself.

Whistleblower Brett Sengstock, Accompanied By His Partner, Leaves Downing Center Court On Monday.

Whistleblower Brett Sengstock, accompanied by his partner, leaves Downing Center Court on Monday.Credit:Kate Geraghty

On Wednesday, the court heard details of a series of meetings and correspondence between Houston and other Assemblies of God pastors who were aware of the 1999 allegation.

Sengstock’s aunt, Barbara Taylor, 90, who was a pastor at an affiliated church and one of the first to learn of the allegation, had written journal entries detailing her correspondence with Houston and others, and their meetings.

The court heard that after a meeting between Brian Houston, Taylor, and another Assemblies of God executive senior pastor, John McMartin, she wrote that she had informed those present that Sengstock was considering legal action.

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