Lawsuit: Bishop Eddie Long Coerced Men into Sex

Lithonia, UNITED STATES: Reverend Bernice King (R) confers with Bishop Eddie Long (L) during funeral services for King's mother, Coretta Scott King, 07 February 2006 at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church 07 February 2006 in Lithonia, GA. Civil rights 'first lady' Coretta Scott King was given a fond farewell with soulful hymns and lively prayers at a funeral attended by four US presidents. AFP PHOTO/POOL/Ric FELD (Photo credit should read RIC FELD/AFP/Getty Images)
RIC FELD/AFP/Getty Images
Two men have filed a lawsuit accusing Bishop Eddie Long of exploiting his role as pastor of an Atlanta-area megachurch to coerce them into sexual relationships when they were members of his congregation.

Lawyers for the men, now 20 and 21, say they filed the lawsuit on Tuesday in DeKalb County Court. The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they were victims of sex crimes.

Craig Gillen, Long's attorney, says the pastor "categorically denies the allegations."

The men were 17- and 18-year-old members of Long's New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, when they say Long abused his spiritual authority to seduce them with with cars, money, clothes, jewelry, international trips and access to celebrities.