‘Sordid mess’: Frank Houston victim’s mum tried to stop him from going public

The mother of a man who was sexually abused as a child by Pentecostal pastor Frank Houston in 1970 “tried to dissuade” her son from speaking out four years before he told the church about his accusation, according to a 1994 diary entry broadcast in the court.

Brett Sengstock was seven years old when Assemblies of God pastor Frank Houston sexually abused him at his family’s Coogee home in 1970, and the alleged failure of Houston’s son Brian to report the incident to police after he found out about it in 1999, he took the police one last time. year to charge him with concealment of an indictable felony.

Hillsong founder Brian Houston arrives at Downing Center local court on Tuesday.Credit:James Brickwood

Brian Houston, 68, who has pleaded not guilty, is the founder of the global Pentecostal megachurch Hillsong, which he formed in 2001 by merging his father’s Assemblies of God-affiliated Christian Life Center churches in central Sydney and the district Hills of the city. At the time he learned of his father’s offense, Houston was the oldest member of the Assemblies of God church and its affiliates in Australia.

A hearing at Sydney’s Downing Center Local Court entered its second day on Tuesday, with Sengstock continuing his testimony under cross-examination by Houston lawyer Phillip Boulten SC.

On Monday, Sengstock told the court that he first told his mother that he had been abused when he was around 16, after another incident in which Frank “exposed himself” and “masturbated under the table.”

On Tuesday, Boulten showed Sengstock a series of journal entries from his now-deceased mother, implying that she first learned of the abuse in 1994, when he was 32.

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 May 31, 1994, she wrote that her son had “dropped a bombshell” and felt that “all my foundations are shaken”.

In another entry a few days later, he wrote that he visited his son and “talked to him to try and talk him out of publicizing the sordid mess.”

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