Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Bishop Eddie Long Update: Trial Date Now Set for Next Summer - BV Black Spin
Bishop Eddie Long appeared in a courtroom Friday to deal with accusations of sexual coercion being brought by four young men who were once members of his church. The judge decided that the trial should begin by next summer, unless the case is settled via mediation before that time.
Attorneys in the DeKalb County courtroom gathered for both sides to determine the status of the case. A tentative trial date has been set for July 11, 2011. There will be mediation before that time, set to take place in February.
Anthony Flagg, Maurice Robinson, Jamal Parris, and Spenser LaGrande are arguing that Bishop Long used his influence over them to coerce them into sexual relationships. They claim that the relationships took place during their teen years, and that inappropriate contact occurred during some of their trips together. Long's church, the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, hasn't argued for Long's innocence or guilt. Instead, they've simply acknowledged that Long did share hotel rooms with some of the young men and that they did take trips together.
Long's case is further complicated by the fact that he has preached against homosexuality for a very long time. In fact, his anti-gay marriage campaign was one of the cornerstones of his ministry. The black community's response to Bishop Long's allegations has been mixed, with some people supporting him and some arguing that he is a hypocrite. To date, Long has not specifically stated that he is completely innocent. A consistent denial of the stories being told by the young men would put Long in an awkward spot if it is proven that he did indeed have an extramarital affair with any of the men in his church.