Men allege sexual coercion by prominent Atlanta pastor
By the CNN Wire Staff
September 21, 2010 5:45 p.m. EDT
Men file suit against Atlanta-area pastor Eddie Long
One suit alleges Long used his position to coerce sex A Long spokesman denies the allegations
(CNN) -- Two Georgia men have filed suit claiming that prominent Atlanta pastor Eddie Long coerced them into sex. The suits, filed Tuesday in DeKalb County, Georgia, allege that Long used his position as a spiritual authority and bishop to coerce young male members and employees of his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church into sex. Long took one plaintiff, Anthony Flagg, 21, to overnight trips to a half dozen American cities, Flagg's suit alleges.
"Long shared a bedroom and engaged in intimate sexual contact with plaintiff Flagg including kissing, massaging, masturbating of plaintiff Flagg by defendant Long and oral sexual contact," the suit says.
Long spokesman Art Franklin said Tuesday that "we categorically deny the allegations."
"It is very unfortunate that someone has taken this course of action," he said. "Our law firm will be able to respond once attorneys have had an opportunity to review the lawsuit."
The suits are seeking unspecified amounts of punitive damages from Long on various counts, ranging from negligence to breach of fiduciary duty.
The Link to the original story can be found HERE.
Update: 9/22/2010: Here's Number Three
A 3rd person has filed suit against Bishop Eddie Long, at the Dekalb County court, accusing him of using his power as pastor and mentor, to seduce him into having sexual relations with him, states CNN.
23 year old Jamal Parish, from the same church, has alleged that Long has been having sexual encounters with him since he was 16 years old and lasted until he was 22, which was last year.
CNN reports that a spokesperson has informed the media that Bishop Long will hold a press conference on Thursday morning to answer these allegations.
Some have been asking if sexual abuse took place, why didn't the young men seek prosecution. The legal age for consensual sex in Georgia, is 17. 2 of 3 accusers say they were 17 and older when the alleged sexual misconduct started, which may be the reason for the civil lawsuits instead.
One, however, is alleged to have been 16 when the sexual escapades started. According to the lawsuit, he reportedly received a Chevy malibu, was taken on lavish trips to the Turks & Caicos and was even put on the church payroll.
Didn't I just say, let the evidence speak for itself. The Lord will reveal all now won't he?
I would like to add that even though there has been speculation for years regarding this, I pray with ALL that is within me that these stories are untrue. This would be a travesty upon the countless children and families that looked to this ministry and to the cause of Christ and the black church in general. There are many lessons that can be learned BUT I hope that learning that one cannot mix sin with righteousness IS NOT one of them.