‘It’s a complete fallacy’: Sex abuse survivor slams Pastor Houston, PM’s support of church
PM Scott Morrison and wife Jenny with Pastor Brian Houston, right. Photo: Facebook
The man who was raped as a child by Hillsong founder Brian Houston’s father, Frank, has slammed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s public support of the church when it has yet to sign up to the sex abuse redress scheme.
Brett Sengstock was raped from the age of seven by the pedophile and Pentecostal preacher Frank Houston, who confessed to his crimes when confronted by his adult son years later.
But his son, Pastor Brian Houston, told 2GB radio on Thursday he never went to police to report the crimes because that is what the victim wanted.
“He told me at age 36 – this is how old he was when I found this out – he told me that he didn’t want the police involved,” Pastor Houston said.
“The law itself spells out that very circumstance that if an adult victim doesn’t want the police involved, it is a reasonable excuse for not including the police.”
— Brett & Lisa Sengstock #justiceforbrett (@LisaSengstock) October 24, 2019
That victim is Mr Sengstock, who told The New Daily the claim he told Pastor Houston he didn’t want to go to police was untrue.
“It’s a complete fallacy. No, I didn’t tell Brian that at all,” he said.
“I am the victim. I’ve been brutally raped by Frank Houston.
“He destroyed by life. Brian covered it up and there is no doubt about that.
“Why would I want to cover Frank Houston or him?”
Brett Sengstock with his wife Lisa. Photo: Brett Sengstock
Pastor Houston said the victim had also said this at the royal commission into child sex abuse, but Mr Sengstock said he spent hours in the witness box being cross-examined by lawyers.
“Several times I did tell them I wanted an investigation but nobody was listening,” he said.
“They spent thousands and thousands on a legal team to squash me. But Brian just glides through this. He’s like … Teflon, nothing sticks to him.”
Asked why he did not go to the police at the time, Mr Sengstock said: “I suppose at the time, I had a young family and I was embarrassed about it.
“Has anyone asked why didn’t Brian go to the police when other victims arose?
“No they don’t. It’s not just Brett. It’s other victims as well.”
Mr Sengstock said the PM should be ashamed to publicly support the evangelical movement.
“He’s up on stage with Brian, talking about how good Hillsong is,” he said.
“He’s talking about protecting children and yet he’s up on stage with Brian.
“I just don’t get it. It’s insanity.”
The New Daily confirmed last month that Pastor Brian Houston remains the subject of an active police investigation over his decision not to report to police that his father was the subject of child sex abuse allegations.
Pastor Brian Houston says he hasn’t spoken to the PM since the White House story emerged. Photo: 2GB
During the 2GB interview, Pastor Houston criticised Maitland Christian Church Pastor Bob Cotton, who emailed 1000 affiliated Australian churches asking for contributions to support Mr Sengstock as he battles a rare cancer.
Pastor Houston told host Ben Fordham: “That pastor of a tiny church in Maitland, to be honest, is being fairly flexible with the truth. I knew he knew 100 per cent that my father had been accused of abusing boys.”
Mr Sengstock said it was beyond disgusting.
“I haven’t got enough money for a funeral. They seem to be waiting [for me to] drop off, so he doesn’t need to pay me at all,” Mr Sengstock said.
“I’ve filled out a claim. He’s still saying we are opting in (to the redress scheme). But nothing has been done.
“I’ve had Stage 4 cancer and I’ve really had some issues with that. It’s in remission at this stage, but I am not healthy and the pressure is not good.”
Mr Morrison has repeatedly refused to answer questions about it in Parliament.
“Was I invited? I genuinely don’t know. At first I thought ‘well no I wasn’t’. It was news to me,” Pastor Houston told 2GB radio.
“Now I literally don’t know because the Prime Minister and I have never had a conversation about that.
“I just didn’t believe it because I had never heard anything about it. So I thought it was nonsense. But then, I guess, the fact that I didn’t know anything about it doesn’t tell us whether I was or wasn’t invited.
“But it is really a matter for Scott Morrison because I genuinely don’t know the answer.”
Pastor Houston said he was not as close to Mr Morrison as some suggested.
“If people only know how little I talked to the Prime Minister at all. It seems I am a lot more important in people’s eyes than I really am,” Pastor Houston said.
“When he first became prime minister, I got a short message from him saying ‘Pray for Jen, his wife, and two kids’.
“He came to the conference with a group of people. I had coffee with him afterwards. And after that I got a message from him just thanking me for hosting him at the conference.
“That has been my entire contact with the Prime Minister the entire time he has been prime minister.”