Bishop Eddie Long: Did He Do Enough to Defend Himself Against Sex Abuse Claims?

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LeGrande said Long agreed to be a father figure for him because his own father was absent, according to court documents, and that Long began asking LaGrande to call him "dad."

LaGrande was 17 when, according to the lawsuit, Long first made sexual contact with him during a trip to Nairobi, Kenya. The lawsuit alleges several more instances of sexual contact, both before and after LaGrande graduated from high school.

Long's accusers have said they believe the bishop abused more young men that eventually will come forward. Many people at the church knew what was going on but covered for Long, victims claimed.

Robinson and Flagg were the first two accusers, followed a short time later by Parris.

Parris alleged in the documents, obtained by ABC News, that the bishop would request he be nude while in his presence and would request "sexual massages" and "oral sodomy" when they traveled.

In his statement, Long said that he had devoted his life to others and relied on his faith to get him through life's troubles.

"All I ask is for your patience as we continue to categorically deny each and every one of these ugly charges," the statement read. "Finally, as I have done for thousands of others over my decades of preaching, I ask for your prayers for me, my family and our church."

Long, who once marched the streets of Atlanta to protest same-sex marriage, is considered a major figure in the black church. His New Birth Missionary Baptist Church has approximately 25,000 members, and sits on 240 acres in Lithonia, Ga.

Long's New Birth Missionary Baptist Church is the same church that hosted Coretta Scott King's funeral in 2006, a ceremony that some civil rights leaders refused to attend because Long is so anti-gay.

B.J. Bernstein, the lawyer for the four men, has said she has photos, texts and e-mails that show a relationship between her clients and the bishop.

One of those photos depicts Long posing in what appears to be a bathroom stall in a red muscle shirt. The photo was sent via e-mail in November 2008 and is signed, "Eddie L Long, Amazed by His Grace."

"What pastor in his right mind sends a picture from himself, posing in his bathroom in a muscle shirt?" Bernstein said. "None that I know of -- especially one who is a committed homophobe."

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