Hillsong Church's founding and senior pastor Brian Houston's court case has been deferred to next year. According to a court hearing on November 23, Houston's will now be deferred till 27 January 2022 when the date of his full trial is due to be announced. Houston has been charged by the Australian police for concealing "serious indictable offence of another person" which concerns child sexual abuse committed by his late father Frank Houston that occurred in the 1970s, which he became aware of in 1999. He has pleaded not guilty via his lawyer.
The charge followed a two-year police investigation. The older Houston has admitted to sexually abuse a 7-year-old boy that occurred between 1969 and 1970, and were later revealed to Brian in 1999. In a statement in July, Brian Houston insisted that he did not find out about his father's abuse until 30 years after the event and that he was honouring the victim's "multiple requests not to inform the police".
"The law at the time granted an exception to reporting a crime of this nature when a person had a reasonable excuse not to report," Houston claimed. "This state law has since further clarified that this type of situation - when an adult victim of child abuse explicitly does not want the matter reported - qualified as a reasonable excuse under the law."
Officials for Sydney's Royal Commission on Institutional Leaders Handling of Sexual Abuses told local outlets, "Police will allege in court 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."