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September 24th, 2010
04:58 PM ET

Fourth lawsuit filed against Pastor Eddie Long

A fourth lawsuit has been filed against Atlanta-area pastor Eddie Long, alleging he coerced a 17-year-old into a sexual relationship during a 2005 trip the two took to Africa.

The suit - filed, like the others, in DeKalb County, Georgia, State Court - claims Long invited Spencer LeGrande, now 22, on a trip to Kenya.

On the first night in Nairobi, 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 provided Ambien, a sleep aid, and they both took the drug, according to the suit.

Long then gave LeGrande a hug, kissed and licked the youth's lips and rubbed the teen's chest, according to the lawsuit. They slept in bed together that evening and during the rest of the Kenya trip, the lawsuit states, adding they went on shopping sprees.

In a statement released by his spokesman, Long denied the allegations.

"Our position about the lawsuits has not changed. Bishop Long categorically denies the charges," said spokesman Art Franklin. "We believe
that it is unfortunate the young men have chosen to take this course of action.

The defense team will review the complaints and respond accordingly at the appropriate time and in the appropriate forum."

In a statement issued Thursday, Long asked for patience "as we continue to categorically deny each and every one of these ugly charges" and requested prayers for himself, his family and the church. He said he will respond to his congregation from the pulpit on Sunday.

Long's church, New Birth Missionary Baptist, also is a defendant in the civil action.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bishop Eddie Long • Christianity • Georgia • Homosexuality • Pastors • Sex abuse

soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Pharmg598

    Very nice site!

    September 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  2. Pharma50

    Hello! abdgeeb interesting abdgeeb site! I'm really like it! Very, very abdgeeb good!

    September 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  3. RV

    This is all that is wrong with organized religon....believe in your own god and worship in private. Why do you need a person like this to tell you what is right and wrong? This guy is profiling, his parishoners are saying" look at the Bentley my Bishop drives...ain't he fine..." I hope this megachurch loses every dime to these lawsuits; it is an abomination in the eyes of any god. For those that think he is innocent until proven guilty, these are civil suits and the process is a little different....

    October 19, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
  4. PAMELA JONES

    MY HEART GO OUT TO THESE YOUNG MENS, AFTER ALL SAID AND DONE GOD KNOW THE TRUTH AND SOON OR LATER IT WAS GOIN TO COME OUT.YOU CAN DO WRONG IN THE DARK FOR SO LONG BUT THE LIGHT WILL SHINE AND YOU CANT HIDE.THESE BOYS ARE MESS UP FOR THE REST OF THIER LIFES. REATHER YOU BELIEVE THEM OR NOT THEY GOT TO LIVE WITH THIS FEELING INSIDE EVERYDAY AND NOW ITS COMING OUT AINT NOBODY BELIEVEING THEM WOW!SO YOU DONT BELIEVE YOUR CHILDREN THESE DAYS.I HAVE TWO BOYS I PRAY TO GOD KEEP THEM UNDER HIS BLOOD.SORRY! YOU MAY FOOL PEOPLE BUT YOU CANT FOOLGOD!HE HAS TO ANSWER TO GOD WHEN THE TRUTH COME OUT!NOT US!

    September 30, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  5. Mark from Middle River

    Harris – You can't blame Ernest too much. Each time something short of a cat falling out of a tree comes into the news media people will use it in their own self interest. Both sides. They will blame the Dems for not having the tree cut down and the republicans for not going to the NRA to get a shotgun to blow the cat out of the tree in a timely manner. There was a post on one of these threads that went into the US Economy and world markets. Chances are by a person who felt that what he or she felt was more important and that since we aren't talking about it 24/7 then we just needed to be informed and re-educated. Either was it was hilarious.

    But Ernest, there are African American and Gay Republicans. So move on stereotypes waste a lot of time.

    September 26, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  6. Harris

    Ernest....wow! U say your a Christian? Whats with the race card? You says thw white people are keeping the African-American church back?! Thats crazy! And incase you didnt know Obama is also white. Bishop T.D Jakes doesnt seemed to held back and he's one of the most amazing preachers I know. If Bishop Long has done such things,then he should have to pay the price as any other person. I feel so bad for his wife and kids. Regardless! Long needs prayer for sure and the church family. God is the judgeno one else. Its time the church acted like a church and stop pointing fingers at who's to blame for someones fall and that includes race cards!

    September 26, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  7. MichaelS3352

    Betcha he chickens out Sunday morning......and I bet he never intended to show his face to begin with. Maybe I'm wrong about Long (or Schlong), but we'll just have to see. Something's going to happen, that's for sure.

    September 25, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  8. mona lisa rica

    the book of matthew speaks quite a bit about this situation. Yes although God is love and mercy, He is also a God of judgement.
    In the book of Matthew, Jesus says that it is hard for a rich man to be saved and , to enter the kingdom of heaven?
    Jesus also says that there are wolves in sheep's clothing that makes merchandise of men an love to lead silly people captive for their own use and desires? Just because Long is the new one on the chopping block, doesnt mean God's word is now void to suit him. I'm sorry, to do so, would make God a liar. Jesus also says, heaven and earth may pass away, but my Word will never pass away. I believe in God and His Holy scriptures–not a man.

    September 25, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  9. moneything

    I think these guys are trying to get money. They did say the first guys broke in to the office. it seems like a gang thing to me.

    September 25, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  10. let

    to many false profits are conning people out of their hard earned money. these people are nothing but con artist.i've seen this over and over misuse of money given to the church. these young men were probably from financially strapped families and were overwhelemed by all the gifts.the parents trusted him. well church members you gave him the money to buy these boys is that how you want your money spent? i wish you people would wake up and stop defending wrong doers.

    September 25, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  11. Noah Williams

    This is my second post. The first one was dumped by this system.

    September 25, 2010 at 8:53 am |
    • Jammin

      And a fine post it is mon

      September 25, 2010 at 8:54 am |
  12. Zelpimines

    Where are all the dinosours when you need them?

    September 25, 2010 at 8:35 am |
  13. SPIRIT FILLED

    I pray that everyone learn something positive from this matter. The only one who achieves anything in matters such as this are them who live in the spirit. Do not under or over estimate any human on earth!! Everything that happens in the visible is governed and influenced by the invisible!! Without Christ we are nothing!! Guilty or not guilty my prayers are with both Eddie Long and the boys. We all fall short!!! There is none who is righteous......no not one!!!

    September 25, 2010 at 2:53 am |
  14. JohnQuest

    Well it looks like the good old bishop (might) be going to jail, I think he should just for abusing his position of power.

    September 24, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.