A fourth young man has filed a lawsuit against Bishop Eddie Long. The new suit alleges Long began a sexual relationship with a 17-year old teen, in Nairobi, while the two were traveling in Africa.
Spencer LeGrande, who is now 22, states that Long asked LeGrande to come to his room, where the youth told the pastor he was having difficulty going to sleep, the suit states. Long gave the teen the sleeping pill Ambien, and took one himself, according to the suit, then he hugged and kissed LeGrande, and rubbed his chest. They slept in bed together during the rest of the Kenya trip, the lawsuit states. The The bishop also took the teen on shopping expeditions, and later encouraged him to move into a church-owned residence. The men say Long carried out a ritual covenant, to strengthen the relationship and to proclaim the young men his "spiritual sons."
The four men have alleged that Long initiated mutual masturbation and oral sex with them when they were above the legal age of consent, telling them the sexual contact was not homosexuality. Long has been an outspoken in condemnation for homosexuality and opposes gay rights. His version of Christianity seeks to empower men with the vision of a Christian warrior. For women the message is to obey their husbands.
Long released a statement denying the allegations, asking for patience "as we continue to categorically deny each and every one of these ugly charges" and requestedprayers for himself, his family and the church. The lawsuit is filed in DeKalb County a prosperous Atlanta suburb. Long's church, New Birth Missionary Baptist, also is a defendant in the civil action.
Bishop Eddie Long issued this statement, Thursday, Sept, 23, responding to accusations by three men that he abused his spiritual authority as pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, a suburb of Atlanta.
Statement from Bishop Eddie Long
"I have been through storms and my faith has always sustained me. I am anxious
to respond directly to these false allegations and I will do so. However, my lawyers
have counseled patience at this time. But let me be clear; the charges against me and
New Birth are false. I have devoted my life to helping others and these false allegations
hurt me deeply. But my faith is strong and the truth will emerge. All I ask is for your
patience as we continue to categorically deny each and every one of these ugly charges.
Finally, as I have done for thousands of others over my decades of preaching, I ask for
your prayers for me, my family and our church. On Sunday, at New Birth, I will
respond to my congregation."