This morning I posted about Atlanta megachurch pastor Eddie Long and the lawsuits charging him with coercing male church members and employees into having sex.
"According to the lawsuit filed today in DeKalb County, Long welcomed Jamal Parris, who was 14 years old at the time, into his circle of 'Spiritual Sons.' Long allegedly lavished gifts on the small, intimate group of young male parishioners who'd entered into a "covenant" with the pastor. Much like the other lawsuits, Long is accused of using his spiritual position and scripture to defend the alleged sexual encounters. The relationship turned sexual after 2004, the lawsuit claims, when Parris, who by then was 17 and had started working at New Birth as Long's personal assistant, accompanied the pastor on trips across the country in the church's private plane and made private visits to his DeKalb County guesthouse and living area at the megachurch. According to the suit, in 2009, Parris — whom Long allegedly encouraged to call him 'Daddy' — started a relationship with a girlfriend, distanced himself from the pastor, and ultimately left the church."
A copy of the Parris complaint here (PDF).
Long has so far denied the allegations and is holding a news conference Thursday morning.