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Police allege Hillsong founder concealed child sex abuse

Australia Hillsong Founder
Posted at 12:52 PM, Aug 05, 2021

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Police say the founder of the Sydney-based global Hillsong Church, Brian Houston, has been charged with concealing child sex offenses.

In a statement, police allege Houston "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."

They say detectives served Houston's lawyers with a notice for him to appear in a Sydney court on Oct. 5 for allegedly concealing a serious indictable offense.

He professed his innocence and said he would defend himself against the charges.

Houston suggested the charges related to allegations that his preacher father, Frank Houston, had abused a young boy over several years in the 1970s.

A government inquiry found in 2015 that he did not tell police that his father was a child sex abuser.

According to the Associated Press, the inquiry found that in 1999 Houston became aware of the allegations against his father.

He then allowed his father to retire quietly rather than report him to authorities.

Before passing away at the age of 82 in 2004, Frank Houston confessed to the abuse, the AP reported.