Bishop Eddie Long Reaches Settlement in Sexual Coercion Lawsuit

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Gene Blythe / AP

Several months after being sued by four of his congregants for alleged sexual coercion, Atlanta megachurch preacher Bishop Eddie Long has settled with them out of court, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Friday.

(MORE: Atlanta Megachurch Pastor Accused of Sexual Coercion)

Long, who was pastor of the 25,000 member New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in suburban Lithonia, was accused of coercing the men into sexual situations while they were teenagers and members of the church’s LongFellows Youth Academy. Long, the youth group and the church were all named in the lawsuit.

The four men, Anthony Flagg, Spencer LeGrande, Jamal Parris and Maurice Robinson accused Long of using trips, gifts and jobs to influence them and ultimately press them for sexual relations. Although he remained mostly silent on the issue, Long maintained his innocence since the allegations came out last September.

Neither side commented on the outcome of the case, and terms of the settlement were unknown, the Journal-Constitution said.