A former Hillsong megachurch pupil is suing the Australia-based institution after she was sexually assaulted by thought-about considered one of its employees.
The movement was launched this week inside the Australian state of New South Wales’ Supreme Courtroom by Anna Crenshaw, who alleged she was nonconsensually groped by a drunken Hillsong staffer in 2016, the Australian first reported.
Crenshaw, who was 18 on the time, had moved from Pennsylvania to Sydney to examine at Hillsong Faculty decrease than two years prior when Jason Mays — a married Hillsong staffer whose father, John Mays, has been a key member of church administration for shut to fifteen years — assaulted her one night whereas at a gathering.
“Jason grabbed me, placing his hand between my legs and his head on my abdomen and commenced kissing my abdomen. I felt his arms and arms wrapped round my legs making contact with my internal thigh, butt and crotch,” she wrote as part of an announcement she submitted to Hillsong in 2018 informing them of the incident, the Christian Submit beforehand reported.
In response to her coming forward, the church defended Mays and shamed Crenshaw, making her actually really feel at fault for mentioning the issue, consistent with the Australian report. Crenshaw and her father, pastor Ed Crenshaw, went to the police 5 months later and in 2020, Mays pleaded accountable to “assault with an act of indecency” in a neighborhood court docket docket.
Hillsong continued defending him, though, releasing an announcement stating that totally different witnesses’ recollections of the gathering “didn’t absolutely corroborate (Ms. Crenshaw’s) model of the occasions.” On stage, former church head Brian Houston as quickly as acknowledged of Mays, “We’re speaking a couple of younger man, a younger married man who did one thing silly, bought a lot drunker than he ought to, which is a matter we’ve bought to maintain addressing, and bought himself in a nasty scenario,” the Australian reported.
“I can solely say that I’m pleased with Anna for standing up for what is correct and for persevering with to do what she will be able to to carry Hillsong Church accountable for his or her poor dealing with of their victims,” Ed Crenshaw knowledgeable The Submit of her new lawsuit. “The necessity for her to take action is apparent given Hillsong management’s sample of masking up improper conduct, together with that of Brian Houston.”
Hillsong didn’t return The Submit’s request for comment.
The brand new lawsuit follows Houston’s resignation from the church he based mostly earlier this 12 months. The 68-year-old cited the continued trial accusing him of failing to point out over proof of his father’s pedophilia, along with misconduct allegations as the reasons for his resignation.
Houston stepping down, and now the lawsuit, mark the most recent blows to the as quickly as celebrity-beloved multinational megachurch, which has spent the earlier two years enmeshed in quite a few scandals as a result of the firing of Justin Bieber’s former pastor, Carl Lentz.