Anna Crenshaw, Indecent Assault Victim, Turns Down Hillsong Church Settlement Deal

Anna Crenshaw

Anna Crenshaw, who was indecently assaulted by a Hillsong church's staff member in Sydney has today vowed her silence will not be bought. On Monday, Crenshaw's attorney announced they had reached an undisclosed settlement agreement. Three days later, the agreement fell through when Hillsong Church asked her to sign an NDA as part of the settlement and also asked that she release a joint statement saying the church had immediately reported her assault to local police when she came forward, even though it took the church five months.  

"We were unable to come to a settlement today because Hillsong changed their plan in a ploy to intimidate and silence me. And I will not give up my voice. This has never been about money for me but about justice and accountability, which we've not received this week," Crenshaw told reporters outside an Australian court Thursday.

The settlement was expected to head off a five-day trail which is now back in play. 

"There is so much shame that comes with these types of abuses and victims shouldn't feel shame. I worked so hard in finding my voice in coming forward from my initial report to Hillsong and they have from day one tried to silence me," Crenshaw said.

"That is not what I was seeking in the justice process. It wasn't to come here, get their money, and walk away without my voice," Crenshaw said. "It was to get some accountability and a real sense of justice and hope that they would really change in moving forward. I think this is just evidence that despite their new leadership, they have the same tactics."

Crenshaw came to Australia to study a Bachelor of Theology at Hillsong College and began attending Hillsong Church services. According to court documents, the indecent assault occurred in April or May, 2016, at the house of another Hillsong member, where she was present with Mays and other students.

In her statement of claim, Ms Crenshaw said Mays "put his right hand on the inside" of her left thigh.

And when she stood to leave, she said that he wrapped his arms around her upper leg and began kissing her exposed stomach.

In the court documents she said Mays left "his hand between her inner thigh and fondling her bottom and vagina." She said he repeatedly said "no, don't go".

Mays, in his defence, denied "the allegation that he fondled (Ms Crenshaw's) bottom and vagina".

Hillsong, in its defence, denied Mays "was acting in any capacity relating to his paid employment or volunteer duties with Hillsong" at the house.








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