A fourth man, a former seminary student, has filed a lawsuit against Eddie Long, senior minister at New Birth Baptist Church in Georgia.
In the latest suit, Bernstein alleges Long “uses monetary funds from the accounts of New Birth and other corporate and non-profit corporate accounts to entice the young men with cars, clothes, jewelry, and electronics.”
Spencer LeGrande was 15 when he met Long, the suit alleges. LeGrande and his mother were among the founding members of Long’s satellite church in Charlotte, N.C., Bernstein told the AJC.
Their first meeting was an emotional one, according to the suit. LeGrande, moved by one of Long’s sermons, approached the pastor and began to cry. Long hugged the 15-year-old, assuring him, “I got you” … “I will be your dad,” the suit states. Soon after they began talking regularly by phone.
“Long would become angry if LeGrande failed to call Long on a frequent basis,” according to the suit.
LeGrande alleges the bishop told him to call me “dad.” Like two of the other young men claiming Long coerced them into having sex, LeGrande’s father was not actively involved in the youth’s life.
The civil suit charges Long with breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, fraud, infliction of emotional distress and other charges. LeGrande says he was 17 years old when sexual contact with Eddie Long began to occur. Long told media this week he would make a statement from his pulpit on Sunday.