A fourth man is suing How You Doin preacher Eddie Long, claiming Eddie aka "Dick Tracy" (pictured above in a photo he sent to his victims) coerced him into a sexual relationship. Earlier this week, three other young men filed similar lawsuits claiming pastor Long abused his spiritual authority to seduce them with cars, money, clothes, jewelry, international trips and access to celebrities -- in exchange for some straight teenage d*ck.
The lawsuit was filed by Spencer LeGrande, a member of New Birth Charlotte. New Birth Charlotte is a satellite church run by Long in Charlotte, N.C. The lawsuit said Long told LeGrande "I will be your dad" and invited the 17-year-old to journey to Kenya with him in July 2005. LeGrande said that Long gave him a sleeping pill on that trip and that the two engaged in sexual acts....The lawsuit claims Long convinced LeGrande that "engaging in a sexual relationship was a healthy component of his spiritual life," the complaint said. LeGrande, now 22, said the two continued their relationship on a February 2006 trip to South Africa and after he moved to Atlanta at Long's encouragement. He said that Long also instructed him not to have girlfriends, but that he pulled away in the spring of 2009 after he became "disillusioned." He moved back to Charlotte in October, it said.The AJC has more:
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. After a second trip to Kenya, Long encouraged LeGrande to move to Atlanta and attend Beulah Heights University, the suit states. LeGrande agreed, abandoning a potential college basketball career. The boy's mother, Deborah LeGrande, wrote the bishop thanking him for looking after her son, according to the suit. LeGrande, who says he was showered with gifts, including a Dodge Intrepid, was expected to "have no girlfriends." In return his tuition and expenses at Beulah were covered, the suit alleges. The freshman college student was allowed to live, rent-free, in the Harwell House, owned by New Birth minister Anthony Moman, who, the suit claims, "knew of Long's sexually inappropriate conduct." LeGrande and Long maintained their intimate relationship, according to the suit. After a few months, LeGrande was moved into a church-owned community center on Parsons Road. The suit alleges the two had sex in that home along with other church properties, including the bishop's private office. Their relationship crumbled in early 2009 as LeGrande became "disillusioned and confused by Long’s actions and began pulling away from [the bishop]," according to the suit. Around that time, LeGrande dropped out of Beulah University and sought to distance himself from his spiritual mentor. "From the Spring of 2009 up through October 2009, Long continued to contact LeGrande," the suit states.When it rains it pours, so don't be surprised when MORE and MORE men file lawsuits against this self-hating hypocrite who's a master manipulator. Frankly, he needs to go to jail.
Sidebar: We read earlier that pastors from around the country are convening in Atlanta all next week (yes, 7 whole days) to pray with (or is it for?) Eddie. Now, really.
Update: "Dick Tracy" (OK, we're gonna start calling him that now from on) made his first public statement today during a conference call with parishioners. Not once did he say he's innocent, but urged his flock to pray for him, his wife (who we hear filed for divorce last summer) and his kids.
He said: "We will arise through this situation, and go forward, and we are moving forward...I have never dealt with anything like this before. I have been under attack before, but everything else has been different levels and different challenges. Know that I am also praying for the families and the young men who are accusing. I always operate in the spirit of love, and we are going to move through this."
He also said he's praying for Anthony, Maurice, Jamal, Spencer and the other not-yet-known accusers. Will "Dick Tracy" upstage Tiger Woods with the number of jumpoffs? It could happen.
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