Jan 15, 2016

Former Hillsong pastor Pat Mesiti faces domestic violence charges

Patrick Begley
The Age
January 3, 2016

A former Hillsong Church minister who became a motivational speaker faces domestic violence charges after he allegedly assaulted his wife in a "fit of rage" on New Year's Eve.

Police from The Hills Local Area Command in Sydney's north-west arrested Pat Mesiti at his home about 11pm on Thursday.

"The accused was heavily intoxicated and in a fit of rage over a family issue," Sergeant Michael Plass said.

Mr Mesiti was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault. Police have sought an apprehended violence order on behalf of his second wife, Andrea. Mr Mesiti has not yet been required to enter a plea to the assault charge and it is not known if he will oppose the AVO application.

Fifteen years ago, Mr Mesiti was one of Australia's most prominent evangelists. He had his own television show and had risen to become a national director of the Pentecostal church movement Australian Christian Churches.

But in 2001 the church leadership at Hillsong discovered he had been sleeping with prostitutes. He was stripped of his licence to minister. His first marriage fell apart.

"I was basically struggling with a sexual addiction," he told the Christian magazine Sight in 2006. Two years later he told the New Zealand Herald he had "lost everything" following the revelations.

"I was so depressed that I couldn't talk for two years. I struggled with my mental health."

Mr Mesiti went on to become a motivational speaker and self-described "prosperity activist" who now instils people with "millionaire mindsets".

"Not to brag, but I am a world-renowned prosperity and mindset coach with over 2 million of my books and products sold worldwide," he says on his website.

"I am a sought-after business consultant to Fortune 500 companies and franchises worldwide on leadership, team building, wealth creation and personal development."

His stated ambition is to create 10,000 millionaires within his lifetime and he has several speaking appearances slated for 2016.

Mr Mesiti could not be reached for comment on Saturday.

Granted bail, he will face Parramatta Local Court on January 12. The police application for an apprehended violence order will be heard on the same day. Assault occasioning actual bodily harm carries a maximum five-year prison sentence.


No comments: