Hillsong Church pastor Brian Houston has been charged with allegedly withholding information relating to child sex offenses.
Houston is a personal friend of Scott Morrison’s who wanted him to be invited to the White House State Dinner that President Donald Trump hosted in honor of the Prime Minister in 2019.
But the White House has rejected Houston.
An NSW Police statement released Thursday evening said: ‘In 2019, an investigation was opened by officers attached to the Hills Police District Command into reports that a 67-year-old man knowingly withheld information relating to sexual offenses against children.
âFollowing extensive investigations, detectives asked the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) to review their evidence file. “
Earlier this week, the ODPP gave its opinion to the police. After further investigations, “the detectives served a notice to appear in court for concealing a serious criminal act from the man’s legal representative” Thursday afternoon.
âThe police allege in court that the man knew of information relating to the sexual abuse of a young man in the 1970s and did not bring this information to the attention of the police.
“The man is scheduled to appear in Downing Center local court on Tuesday, October 5, 2021,” the police statement said.
In 2015, the Royal Commission on Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which examined the allegations against Houston’s father, Frank, found neither the Assemblies of God executive in Australia nor Brian Houston fired. allegations to the police.
He concluded that Brian Houston “had a conflict of interest” in taking responsibility for dealing with the allegations “because he was both the national president of the Assemblies of God in Australia and the son of Mr. Frank Houston, the ‘alleged perpetrator’.
The Wall Street Journal revealed the story, during Morrison’s trip to the United States, of the Houston prime minister’s nomination for dinner and rejection.
Morrison dodged questions at the time and later to find out if he had put Houston’s name in. He said the story was “gossip”.
It wasn’t until March 2020 that he confirmed this, telling 2GB “we’ve come up with a number of names, including Brian, but not all of those whose names have been put forward have been invited.” He said he had known Houston for a long time.
In the 2GB interview, Morrison was asked if he was unaware that Houston was under a police investigation at the time.
âThese are not things that I follow up close,â Morrison said. âAll I know is that this is a very large, well attended and well supported organization here in Australia.
âThey’re very well known in the United States – are so well known that Brian was actually in the White House a few months after me. So the president obviously didn’t have a problem with that. And that’s why I think that this is where the matter is at rest.
Houston has lived in the United States for some time.