Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lawsuits Accuse Megachurch Leader of Sexual Misconduct



ATLANTA — Two young men in Georgia said Tuesday that the pastor of a 33,000-person Baptist megachurch, Bishop Eddie L. Long, had repeatedly coerced them into having sex with him. In two lawsuits filed in DeKalb County, the men said that Bishop Long, a prominent minister and television personality, had used his position as a spiritual counselor to take them on trips out of state and perform sexual acts on them. Bishop Long is the pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, an Atlanta suburb. It is one of the largest churches in the country. “Defendant Long has a pattern and practice of singling out a select group of young male church members and using his authority as bishop over them to ultimately bring them to a point of engaging in a sexual relationship,” said a suit filed by one of the men, Maurice Robinson, 20. The other man who filed suit is Anthony Flagg, 21. Bishop Long’s lawyer, Craig Gillen, rejected the accusations. “Bishop Long adamantly denies these complaints,” Mr. Gillen said. “We find it unfortunate that these two young men have taken these actions. We are reviewing the complaint and will respond accordingly.” - ROBBIE BROWN, NY Times

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