Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston will plead not responsible to illegally concealing alleged baby abuse by his father, his lawyer advised a court docket on Tuesday.
Houston didn’t seem at Sydney’s Downing Heart Native Court docket when his cost was talked about earlier than a registrar for the primary time. His lawyer advised the court docket Houston could be pleading not responsible to the cost of concealing a critical indictable offense of one other particular person, his late preacher father Frank Houston.
The case will subsequent be earlier than the court docket on November 23.
Police will allege that Frank Houston indecently assaulted a younger male in 1970.
Court docket paperwork allege that Brian Houston believed his father had dedicated the crime. Police will allege that the youthful Houston did not disclose info to police that might assist safe the prosecution of his father.
Since being charged, Houston has stepped down from the board of Hillsong, the church he based with spouse Bobbie in Sydney in 1983. Now a worldwide empire, the church says 150,000 folks in 30 international locations attend its providers and 50 million folks sing its songs every week.
Houston, 64, was in america in August when detectives served his Sydney legal professionals with a discover for him to look in court docket.
He stated in a press release on the time he welcomed the “alternative to set the report straight.”
Houston returned to Sydney final month and was launched from 14 days’ resort quarantine final week.
An Australian authorities inquiry into institutional responses to allegations of kid intercourse abuse present in 2015 that Houston didn’t inform police that his father was a baby intercourse abuser.
The inquiry discovered that Houston grew to become conscious of allegations in opposition to his father in 1999 and allowed him to retire quietly somewhat report him to police. His father confessed to the abuse earlier than he died in 2004 at age 82.
Hillsong Church has stated repeatedly that it has not been concerned on this matter, as Frank Houston by no means labored for the church, and has defended Brian Houston’s response.
“Upon being advised of his father’s actions, Brian Houston confronted his father, reported the matter to the Nationwide Government Assemblies of God in Australia, relayed the matter to the governing board of Sydney Christian Life Centre, and subsequently made a public announcement to the church. Brian sought to honor the sufferer’s a number of requests to not inform the police,” the church said in a statement in July.
“As a current improvement, expenses have formally been filed in opposition to Brian Houston,” the church stated on the time. “We’re disillusioned that Pastor Brian has been charged, and ask that he be afforded the presumption of innocence and due course of as is his proper. He has suggested us that he’ll defend this and appears ahead to clearing his title.”
Hillsong, recognized for chart-topping worship music and megachurches throughout the globe, became its own denomination in 2018. Final yr, Brian Houston announced an investigation of its New York Metropolis campus, the place pastor Carl Lentz had stepped down over infidelity.
Further reporting by CT.