LITHONIA, Ga. (CBS/WGCL/AP) A Georgia district attorney will continue with the burglary case against a man who has accused Bishop Eddie Long of coercing him into a sexual relationship, despite the pastor's wishes to drop the charges, according to a report.
Maurice Robinson, one of the four men who filed lawsuits against Bishop Long in the past week, was arrested along with another man in June for allegedly breaking into Long's office and stealing an iPod, jewelry and an iPad, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
According to the paper, Bishop Long apparently visited former District Attorney Gwen Keyes-Fleming last month to request that she drop the burglary charges, said Chief Assistant District Attorney Don Geary.
Keyes-Fleming, who recently stepped down from her position, denied the pastor's request and Geary has all intentions of proceeding with the case.
"The file is still open and we have no intent to drop the charges," Geary told the newspaper.
B.J. Bernstein, Robinson's attorney, said the 20-year-old committed the break-in out of "retaliation" after he learned that the pastor was allegedly involved with another man, states the paper
Prosecutors are now looking into reports that 21-year-old Anthony Flagg, who also filed a lawsuit against Bishop Long, was present when the burglary occurred, according to the paper. Flagg has not been charged.
Bishop Long addressed his 25,000-member congregation for the first time Sunday regarding the sexual allegations saying, "I have never in my life portrayed myself as a perfect man. But I am not the man that's being portrayed on the television. That's not me." he said.
Four lawsuits were filed against the outspoken pastor claiming that he misused his spiritual authority by seducing the young men with lavish gifts such as cars, money, clothes, international trips, jewelry and access to celebrities when they were teenage members of his congregation.
One of the lawsuits alleges breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, fraud, and infliction of emotional distress, among other things.
Long's attorney, Craig Gillen says he "categorically denies the allegations."
Long became one of the country's most powerful independent church leaders over the last 20 years, turning a suburban Atlanta congregation of 150 to a 25,000-member powerhouse with a $50 million cathedral and a roster of parishioners that includes athletes, entertainers and politicians.