Victim says PM's friendship with rapist's son is 'monstrous'
As a boy, Brett Sengstock was subjected to horrific and degrading abuse at the hands of Hillsong pastor Frank Houston who repeatedly raped him over five years from the age of seven.
It wasn't until he was 16 that Mr Sengstock finally broke his silence about the abuse to his mother who then carried her son's secret for another two decades until finally breaking the shocking news to church elders.
In an emotional interview with The Sunday Project, Mr Sengstock spoke about the abuse and how it was handled by Hillsong Church founder - and Frank Houston's son - Brian Houston, a close pal of Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Media scrutiny has focused on the Hillsong Church over the way Mr Houston dealt with the sins of his father, which he did not report to police, comes under the spotlight.
Mr Houston is being investigated by the NSW Police for failing to report his father's child sexual abuse.
"We were big in the church and had strong ties in the church and Frank Houston came over to a Christian camp," Mr Sengstock told The Sunday Project host Lisa Wilkinson. "Then he came back to my family's house.
"One night Frank Houston came in and climbed on top of me and started choking me and turned me over and I passed out. And he raped me. This went on repeatedly for days during that week.
"And me and Brian Houston would play on the sand together and Frank would rape me again. Late in the night, back on top of me."
The abuse continued for five years at Mr Sengstock's home in Coogee in Sydney's eastern suburbs and wherever he encountered Frank Houston.
In a move seemingly out of a paedophile's handbook, Frank told Mr Sengstock he was his "golden boy" but warned him not to tell anyone about the abuse - described as "our secret" - as, "No-one will believe me anyway."
Shockingly, Mr Sengstock said after the abuse became known in the 1990s - when Brian Houston was president of the Assemblies of God Australia - Frank Houston started calling Mr Sengstock and offered him $10,000.
"Brian Houston facilitated the money but said something to me that rocked me to this day," Mr Sengstock told The Sunday Project. "He said, 'You know, this is all your fault. You tempted my father.'"
Mr Houston has denied he ever said this and added the day he confronted his father - who admitted the abuse - was "the worst day of my life".
"My father, you know, he did some very evil things but there is no way he tried to blame the boy. He took it upon himself," Mr Houston previously told the Today show.
Mr Houston said he "did not have time" to speak to The Sunday Project. In a statement, the Hillsong Church said, "The victim was a 36 year old adult when this abuse became known … (and) did not want Pastor Brian or others to go to the police.
"At no time did Pastor Brian attempt to dissuade anyone including the victim from going to the police."
While it's clear Mr Morrison has a great friendship with Mr Houston, the PM has so far flatly refused to answer whether he wanted his religious mentor to attend a state dinner hosted by President Donald Trump at the White House as reported by The Wall Street Journal.
He dismissed the story as being based on "gossip" but did not outright deny the claims.
Recently, Mr Morrison and his wife Jenny were warmly welcomed to the Hillsong Conference by Mr Houston to the horror of Mr Sengstock.
"It was shocking," he said. "I couldn't believe the audacity. Here's the PM of this country on stage with Brian Houston, who is currently under investigation by the NSW Police, for concealing crimes of his father and they're up there with their arms around each other. I am absolutely lost for words.
"The national apology (to child abuse victims), what was the points in doing it?
"It was a scam. I think publicly he did it to appease all the abuse survivors in this country. As for backing it up with anything, it's absolutely monstrous. An absolute disgrace."
Mr Morrison did not reply to questions from The Sunday Project.