Hillsong Church founder under police investigation


Hillsong Church founder under police investigation
In 2014, Brian Houston gave evidence before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.
© AAP Image/Paul Miller In 2014, Brian Houston gave evidence before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.  

 

 

Brian Houston, the founder of the Hillsong Church, is under investigation by New South Wales police over his handling of the sex crimes committed by his father Frank Houston.

Frank Houston was a Pentecostal pioneer, a leading Assemblies of God pastor who preyed on young boys in Australia and New Zealand in the 1960s and 1970s.

The first allegations of Frank Houston’s pedophilia emerged in the late 1990s, when Brian Houston was the Australian National President of the Assemblies of God, part of the largest Pentecostal denomination in the world.

In 2014, Brian Houston gave evidence before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, which later found he had failed to take the matter to the police and had a conflict of interest in dealing with the complaints against his father.

It has emerged that in the wake of the Royal Commission’s findings, NSW Police began looking into his handling of his father’s crimes, an investigation that was suspended because of lack of evidence.

A NSW police spokesman said the investigation has been reopened and is now “current and active”.

Last night on 60 Minutes, one of Frank Houston’s victims, Brett Sengstock, spoke for the first time of his abuse by Frank Houston as a seven-year-old boy and his ongoing quest for justice.

A key witness at the Royal Commission, where he was known only as ‘AHA’, Brett Sengstock gave up his anonymity to tell his story.

For more information on Brett Sengstock, click here.

To read a response to Royal Commission report – from Hillsong Church Board and Elders, please click here.

To watch ‘Crossing the Line’ in full, and for more on 60 Minutes, head to the official website.

 

 

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