Hillsong founder Brian Houston has made an application to have his legal bill paid by the state after he was acquitted of concealing his father’s sexual abuse.
The 69-year-old was represented by his lawyer in Sydney Downing Centre Local Court on Friday in a bid to recoup his costs from the lengthy legal proceedings launched against him.
He stood trial earlier this year after pleading not guilty to one count of concealing the serious indictable offence of another person.
The former pastor denied covering up his father’s sexual abuse of a young boy in Sydney in the 1970s by failing to tell police about the crimes.
He was acquitted of the charge in August, but his legal team was back in court a month later to ask the state to pay his hefty legal bill.
On Friday, magistrate Gareth Christofi set a hearing date for legal arguments over the awarding of costs.
The hearing is expected to take less than two hours when it returns to the Local Court on December 7.
The hearing will bring an end to the legal proceedings against Mr Houston that have drawn international attention.
After he was acquitted, the former pastor told journalists he felt “relief that the truth has come out”.
“He (Frank Houston) was obviously a serial pedophile,” he said.
“We will probably never know the extent of his pedophilia.
Frank Houston sexually abused Brett Sengstock at his family’s home in Coogee while he was on a tour of Australia 50 years ago.
Mr Sengstock was seven years old at the time and Houston, then a New Zealand-based preacher, was a close friend of his parents.
During his trial, the court was told Mr Houston learnt of his father’s pedophilia in late 1999.
His legal team argued the Pentecostal preacher had a “reasonable excuse” not to come forward because of Mr Sengstock’s wishes.
After Mr Houston was acquitted in August, he expressed his “sadness” for his father’s victim.
“A lot of people have been hurt, and for that I am very sad,” he told journalists outside court last month.
Mr Houston took to X (formerly known as Twitter) hours before his matter was mentioned in court to share a cryptic message.
“I will always call out Injustice for what it is,” he wrote
He also told his 580,000 followers that he was in the process of documenting his experiences.
“I’m writing my story,” he wrote on the social media platform.
“It’s a big job and may take a while. But gee there’s a lot to praise God about.”