The Australian pastor and founder of a global Pentecostal megachurch accused of cover up of his father’s alleged child sexual abuse has pleaded not guilty.
Though Brian Houston did not appear during a first mention of the case at Sydney’s Downing Centre local court on Tuesday morning, his lawyer told the court Houston would plead not guilty.
Police have alleged Houston was aware of information relating to the sexual abuse of a young man in the 1970s, and that he failed to raise the issue with authorities.
Court documents state that police allege Houston concealed his father’s alleged “indecent assault of a male” from 1 September 1999 to 9 November 2004.
His father died on 8 November 2004, without having been charged over the alleged abuse.
The documents allege Houston believed his father “committed that offence and knowing that he had information that might be of material assistance in securing the prosecution of Frank Houston for that offence, without reasonable excuse, failed to bring that information to the attention of the NSW police force”.
The matter has been adjourned until 23 November.
In early August, New South Wales police announced they had charged Houston with knowingly concealing information related to alleged child sexual offences.
There is no suggestion Houston was involved in offending against the child.