Hillsong founder Brian Houston given date to defend charges he concealed father’s abuse

Brian Houston addressed his many Facebook followers Thursday morning as a Sydney court set down the date for him to defend charges he concealed his father’s sexual assault of children.

Mr Houston, 68, will face a three-week hearing next month after pleading not guilty to concealing the serious indictable offence of another person.

Police allege he knew since September 1999 that his late father Frank Houston indecently assaulted a two boys in 1970. Mr Houston was charged in August, 2021.

“Police will allege in court that 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,” NSW police said in a statement at the time Houston was issued a court attendance notice.

Mr Houston has denied the allegations, describing the charge as “complete shock” and saying he would “vigorously defend” his innocence.

On Thursday, Sydney Downing Centre Local Court was told Mr Houston would proceed to a special three-week hearing from December 2 to 22 to fight the charge.


Mr Houston was charged by police in August, 2021. Photo: AAP

The Crown prosecutor has requested the ability for witnesses to give evidence without the need to be physically present in court.

Facebook address

In a Facebook video posted on Thursday Morning, Mr Houston addressed his resignation as head of the Pentecostal megachurch in March this year, saying he and his wife Bobbie had “no choice but to end our time as leaders and pastors”.

He also rejected reports that he was an alcoholic.

“The narrative that I am an alcoholic is false,” he said.

As far as his dependency on sleeping tablets was concerned, this was known “since the early 2000s”, he said.

Mr Houston also touched on an infamous 2019 incident when he entered the hotel room of a female Hillsong supporter while apparently disoriented after taking a cocktail of alcohol and anxiety tablets.

Her said described the incident as a “one-off” which had never happened “before or since”.

Mr Houston founded the now-international Hillsong church in 1983 and was acknowledged as a mentor by former prime minister Scott Morrison.

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