Atlanta (WAOK) Sources close to both sides in the lawsuits filed against Bishop Eddie Long and New Birth Missionary Baptist Church indicate a settlement may be near. Mediation talks between attorneys for Long and the four plaintiffs have been on going since February. DeKalb County Judge Johnny Panos says he is ready for this to be done.
Recent reports indicated both sides wanted to resolve the case by Easter.
Four former members of New Birth and the Youngfellows Academy filed suit against Bishop Long last year charging among other things, that Bishop Long used his influence as their spiritual leader to coerce them into sexual relationships with him. According to the lawsuits, Anthony Flagg, Maurice Robinson, Jamal Parris, and Spencer LeGrande recounted separate incidents of Long providing expensive gifts, trips on private planes, and other examples of “special” treatment that they say were used to entice them into sexual relationships with Long. Bishop Long has repeatedly denied the charges. If the case is successfully resolved through mediation the court files will be sealed and details of the case will not be made public.