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Frank Houston admitted abuse to a number of church leaders, not just son Brian Houston, court hears

by Sophie Drew

Frank Houston admitted that he had abused children to a number of people within his church, not just his son currently standing trial, the court has heard. 

Brian Houston – the son of Frank Houston and former global leader of Hillsong Church – is currently at the centre of a three-week trial in Sydney.

He stands charged of concealing a serious indictable offence – his father’s sexual abuse of minors. He pleads not guilty and argues that the victim did not want the matter escalated to the police.

Keith Ainge, former national secretary of the Assemblies of God (AOG) has told the court that he was present when Brian Houston told a group of the abuse.

An urgent meeting in 1999 saw members of the AOG gather to discuss further action after a victim on Frank’s historic abuse came forward as an adult.

When the abuse first began, the victim was seven years old. At the time of the attack, it’s believed Brian Houston was not aware of the actions of his father.

Brian Houston had already removed Frank Houston from public ministry by the time the meeting was called.

The following year, the group gathered at Frank Houston’s house, having learned the names of more boys he had abused.

During the second meeting, he admitted to one instance but said he could not remember any other incidents.

“He was given the names of the people and with most of them he couldn’t remember anything about it, but with one he did say: ‘Oh yeah something did happen,’ but he was pretty vague,” Ainge told the court on Tuesday.

The matter was not escalated to the police force following the initial confession.  The victim denies ever asking Brian Houston not to go to the police.

The trial is set to run for three weeks.


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