Brett Sengstock was just seven years old when he was first sexually abused.
In the 1970s, Brett and his parents were members of a Pentecostal church. Frank Houston, the leader of the Assemblies of God, would often visit Australia from New Zealand and stay at the Sengstock’s house.
The Sengstock family treated the high profile preacher like royalty. On tonight’s episode of 60 Minutes, Brett will speak about his ordeal publicly for the first time.
“It was like having the Pope come. Exciting, you know, we were thrilled to have them there,” Brett tells 60 Minutes’ Liz Hayes.
Brett speaks to Liz Hayes on 60 Minutes…
It was during one of those visits that Houston first entered Brett’s room late at night.
“He would come into my room and lay on top of me,” he says.
“When you do that to a child, you murder them. You take everything away from them. There’s nothing left.”
The abuse continued until Brett was 12 years old.
In the 1990s, when several victims came forward, the Assemblies of God investigated Houston’s conduct. However, the investigation was lead by Brian Houston – the leader of the Hillsong Church and Frank Houston’s own son.
The church never went to the police to report the allegations, and Houston was able to live freely until his death in 2004.
In 2014, ten years after after Houston’s death, Brett spoke about the sexual abuse he suffered at the pastor’s hands, as “witness AHA” at the Royal Commission into Child Abuse.
Now 56, and battling stage four cancer, Brett has given up his anonymity to speak out before it’s too late.
“I’m tired of people speaking for me and telling the world how I felt and how I’m feeling,” he tells Hayes.
“Now I stand before you with who I really am.”
You can watch the full story on 60 Minutes on Nine at 8.30pm tonight.