Bishop Eddie Long filed four lengthy responses in DeKalb County State Court on Monday, denying all allegations that he coerced young men into sexual relationships.
In the filings obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Long asked for the four lawsuits to be dismissed and judgment to be entered in his favor.
In September, four young men — Maurice Robinson, Anthony Flagg, Jamal Parris and Spencer LeGrande — filed suits against Long and New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. The young men claimed Long coerced them into having sex with him in exchange for lavish gifts, trips and jobs. In the filings, Long said it has been a practice of his to occasionally share a room with members of his congregation. However, he said “the plaintiff’s claims of sexual misconduct are not true.”
The plaintiffs allege the sexual relations occurred when they were 16 or older. The legal age of consent is 16 in Georgia.
The plaintiffs’ attorney, B.J. Bernstein, told the AJC that she had not received copies of the responses and could not comment.
On Monday, Long filed four separate responses, each about 30 pages and denying each accusation point by point. He admitted that he took the men on trips, but he denied the complaints of sexual contact. He did admit to hugging some of the men.
“Bishop Long admits that it is common among his church congregation for members to hug each other and hug the Bishop,” the suit reads.
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SOURCE: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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