Prominent anti-gay Atlanta Pastor Eddie Long has been charged of coercing young male members and employees of his church into sex, in a lawsuit brought by two men in Dekalb, Georgia who say Long used his authority improperly and pressured them, via his authority, to have sexual relations.
"Lawyers for the men, now 20 and 21, say they filed the lawsuit Tuesday in DeKalb County Court against Bishop Eddie Long. The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they were victims of sexual impropriety. The men were 17- and 18-year-old members of Long's New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, when they say Long abused his spiritual authority to seduce them with cars, money, clothes, jewelry, international trips and access to celebrities."
"Long is considered one of the nation's top black preachers. His church has more 25,000 members, according to the suit, and was the site of Coretta Scott King's 2006 funeral, attended by then-President George W. Bush and three previous presidents. King was the widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The pastor took one plaintiff, Anthony Flagg, 21, on overnight trips to a half-dozen American cities in recent years, 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 took the other plaintiff, Maurice Murray Robinson, 20, to Auckland, New Zealand, in October 2008 for his 18th birthday and engaged in oral sex with him, Robinson's suit alleges."
"Long frequently denounces homosexual behavior. A 2007 article in the Southern Poverty Law Center's magazine called him 'one of the most virulently homophobic black leaders in the religiously based anti-gay movement.'"
Long denies the charges.
Watch Rick Sanchez and CNN's report, AFTER THE JUMP...
Here's Rick Sanchez's report on Eddie Long: