September 21, 2010 – Two Georgia men have filed a lawsuit against prominent Atlanta pastor Eddie Long, claiming that he coerced them into sex. According to the suits, Long used his position as spiritual authority and bishop to coerce young male members and employees of his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church into sex.
Plaintiff Anthony Flagg, 21, claims to have been taken by pastor Long on over a half-dozen overnight trips during the past several years.
According to the suit, “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.”
Long accompanied the other plaintiff, 20 year-old Maurice Murray Robinson, to Auckland, New Zealand in October 2008 for his 18th birthday and allegedly engaged in oral sex with him.
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.”
Ironically, Long has been a vocal crusader against homosexuality for years. 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.”
The suits are seeking unspecified amounts of punitive damages from Long on various counts, ranging from negligence to breach of fiduciary duty.
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