Saturday, 13 November 2010

Bishop Eddie Long on the Record: "Claims of Sexual Misconduct Are Not True," Says Ga. Pastor

Bishop Eddie Long

    Bishop Eddie Long: Ga. Megachurch Pastor Responds to Lawsuits, Says "Claims of Sexual Misconduct Are Not True??ยข??????

    Bishop Eddie Long (AP Photo/Gene Blythe, File)

    ATLANTA (CBS/AP) Bishop Eddie Long, the outspoken Atlanta mega-church pastor accused of coercing four young men into sexual relationships, categorically denied the allegations for the first time in a court filing Monday, claiming he was merely a mentor to the men who filed civil suits against him in September.

    PICTURES: Bishop Eddie Long

    For weeks the pastor had not directly countered the allegations, though his attorney denied the accusations on his behalf. But on Monday the avowedly anti-gay pastor specifically addressed the allegations by filing four separate court responses, nearly 30 pages each, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

    Long said in his filings that each of the "claims of sexual misconduct are not true."

    Spencer LeGrande, 22, Jamal Parris, 23, Anthony Flagg, 21, and Maurice Robinson, 20, all filed lawsuits against the pastor in September claiming they were 17 and 18 when Long first adopted them as his "spiritual sons." The men said Long then abused his "spiritual authority" and seduced them with cars, lavish trips and jewelry in exchange for sex, which he allegedly justified with Holy Scripture.

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