How a Megachurch Pastor is Being Accused of Sexual Abuse
According to an article in the Palm Bach Post, a megachurch pastor is being accused of coercing various men into sexual relationships. Although loved as a pastor and father figure, Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in suburban Atlanta, GA has been called a “predator,” and a “monster.
According to Atlanta’s Fox TV affiliate WAGA, Jamal Parris, one of the young men suing Long, said “this man turned his back on us when he had no more need for us. That’s not a father, that’s a predator.”
Parris, 23, is one of four men suing the TV preacher in state court, claiming that he abused his “spiritual authority” and gave them cars, clothes, cash and trips to lure them into sexual relationships while they were teen members of the church.
A spokesman for Long referred calls to an attorney, who was not immediately available Tuesday night.
When a reporter approached Parris outside a convenience store in Colorado, he at first was reluctant to speak. Then he told WAGA that Long exploited his dreams for a father figure in exchange for sexual favors.
In the Fox interview, a vehement Parris said Long “manipulated us from childhood” under the guise of providing a fatherly influence. Parris was referring to himself and the other accusers, Maurice Robinson, Anthony Flagg and Spencer LeGrande. They are in their 20s now but were 17 and 18 when they had sexual relationships with Long, the lawsuits say.
Long’s followers include athletes, politicians and entertainers in the 25,000-member Lithonia church that has a $50 million, 10,000-seat cathedral and more than 40 ministries. Long, who has been New Birth pastor since 1987, has spoken out loudly against gay marriage.
Sexual Assault Defense
If you were charged with sexual battery, it is important to contact a criminal defense lawyer that understands the seriousness of the charge and knows how to defend against it. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer should have extensive experience representing people charged with sexual assault and battery. A criminal defense lawyer’s team will review the evidence and conduct private investigations in order to find holes in the prosecution’s case.