Brian Houston, founding father of scandal–plagued Australian megachurch Hillsong, will plead not responsible to fees of concealing youngster sexual abuse.
Authorities in New South Wales, Australia, in August charged the 67-year-old pastor with concealing youngster intercourse offenses dedicated by his late father, the Pentecostal pastor and pedophile, Frank Houston. At a preliminary courtroom listening to Tuesday, Houston’s lawyer mentioned her shopper denied the allegations and can plead not responsible, the BBC reported.
Houston, who was primarily based within the US, has reportedly returned to Australia since being charged however didn’t attend the listening to. His subsequent courtroom date is ready for Nov. 23.
“Police will allege in court the man 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,” officers for Sydney’s Royal Commission on Institutional Leaders’ Handling of Sexual Abuse advised native shops upon charging Houston in August. The fees adopted a two-year investigation into the sexual abuse of Frank Houston, who died in 2004 at 82. They carry a most sentence of as much as 5 years behind bars.
In an announcement acquired by The Post on the time, Houston claimed he was harmless.
“These charges have come as a shock to me given how transparent I’ve always been about this matter,” he mentioned. “I vehemently profess my innocence and will defend these charges, and I welcome the opportunity to set the record straight.”
A spokesperson for Hillsong advised The Post in August that they have been “disappointed” by the costs.
Shortly after he was charged, Houston stepped down from nearly all of his positions on the Australia-based megachurch, a transition he’d been transferring towards since February.
“I’ve made a decision to step aside from my role on the Hillsong Church boards that oversee the governance of our operations,” Houston wrote in an e-mail despatched to congregants. “I did this so that these boards can function to their fullest capacity during this season.”
Hillsong didn’t reply to The Post’s request for remark Tuesday.