A Disturbing Allegation: 18-Year-Old Accuses Hillsong Staffer of Indecent Assault

Hillsong Church, a globally recognized megachurch, finds itself at the center of a legal storm following recent developments in a civil lawsuit in Australia.

Anna Crenshaw, a former Hillsong College student and church member, has brought the church into legal proceedings over a distressing incident from 2018. At just 18 years old, she claims to have been indecently assaulted by Jason Mays, a staff member at Hillsong.

The church has formally denied any wrongdoing in its court filings, distancing itself from allegations of negligence.

In January 2020, Jason Mays pleaded guilty to one count of indecent assault in Penrith Local Court. He received a conditional release order for two years without a formal conviction.

A trial was scheduled to commence last Monday in the New South Wales Supreme Court. However, it was averted when both parties initially agreed to a settlement. Later, the deal fell through when negotiations collapsed.

Crenshaw accuses the church of pressuring her into signing a non-disclosure agreement, which she ultimately refused. She expressed her frustration outside the courthouse: “I was seeking some justice, and I was ready for that Monday, and I feel like Hillsong ripped that opportunity from me, and they’ve delayed the pain,” she lamented.

She also claimed that Hillsong had consistently attempted to silence her since her initial report to the church. “I have worked so hard to find my voice in coming forward,” Crenshaw stated.

In its defense, Hillsong Church issued a public statement denying these accusations and reaffirming its respect for Crenshaw’s privacy and the legal process.

“Hillsong has refrained from making any public statement about these proceedings…However, in light of developments this week, Hillsong wishes to clarify the issues,” the statement explained.

The church outlined that the legal dispute centers on its liability for the assault and its response to Crenshaw’s allegations, which reportedly occurred at a private gathering not sanctioned by Hillsong.

Hillsong confirmed it had engaged in negotiations in good faith after being approached by Crenshaw’s legal team and rebuffed any suggestion of obstructing her access to justice.

The church highlighted its support for Crenshaw during the incident’s aftermath, including respecting her confidentiality requests and supporting her personally and academically.

“After undertaking its investigations and obtaining independent legal advice, Hillsong reported the matter to the NSW Police,” the church noted, acknowledging the courage of Crenshaw and others who come forward in such situations.

Justice Robertson Wright has postponed the case until May 13th, when a new trial date will be set.

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