Alleged Victim Calls Pastor Eddie Long a "Monster"

Man claims that Eddie Long used scripture to justify alleged sexual activity.

September 29, 2010, 2:52 AM

Sept. 29, 2010— -- One of the four men who've accused a Georgia mega-church pastor of coercing them into sex called the man at the center of the controversy a "predator" and a "monster."

Jamal Parris, 23, told WAGA-TV in Atlanta that Bishop Eddie Long, leader of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, swept into his life and used him for sex and moved on to younger prey.

"I cannot get the sound of his voice out of my head, and I cannot forget the smell of his cologne, and I cannot forget the way he made me cry when I drove in his car on the way home, not able to take enough showers to get the smell of that man off my body," Parris said in the Tuesday broadcast.

When Parris was 17, he said, Long would take him "alone to the guesthouse" and "encourage him to call him daddy," according to his lawsuit.

None of Long's accusers, including Spencer LaGrande, Maurice Robinson and Anthony Flagg, had spoken publicly since their lawsuits were filed last week.

The other young men claimed in separate lawsuits that he lavished them with expensive gifts and trips and then forced them into sexual relationships when they were teenagers.

Parris alleged that Long also used the "holy scripture to justify and support the sexual activity."

"That man cannot look me in my eye and tell me we did not live this pain, how you can sit in front of the church … you are not a man, you are a monster," Parris told WAGA-TV.

Parris alleges 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 LaGrande's lawsuit, he alleges that he met Long in March 2003 during the first service at a branch Long's Georgia-based church opened in a suburb of Charlotte, N.C.

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' attorney said the young men were brave enough to come forward and should be treated as sex abuse victims.

"If you are a victim and you are a young man or a young boy no matter when it happened in your life it is time to stand up and get to someone and tell them," said B.J. Bernstein, attorney for the alleged victims.

Battle Between 'David' and 'Goliath'

Bishop Long continues to deny the accusations and called himself "David" and the accusers "Goliath."

"This is probably the most difficult time in my entire life," Bishop Eddie Long said during from the pulpit this weekend.

He had promised to answer the accusations Sunday and it was one of his most well-attended services in years with about 8,000 parishioners coming to hear him speak, some of whom waited in traffic for hours.

The Rev. Timothy McDonald III, the senior pastor of the First Iconium Baptist Church in Atlanta, has known Long for more than 20 years. He called reaction to his sermon "mixed."

"Of course we wanted to hear more, but we were just glad that the bishop took the opportunity to speak," McDonald told "Good Morning America" Monday. "I think he did a good job of combining the legal, the spiritual, the moral aspects of all that is going on."

Long has vehemently denied the men's claims in written statements released last week but not Sunday.

"It will be tried in the court of justice, and dealt with in the court of justice," he said. "I feel like David, against Goliath, but I've got five rocks, and I haven't thrown one yet."

Although parishioners were seen applauding thunderously for Long during the service, others said they are losing some faith in their pastor.

"He wasn't genuine," one woman said as she left the church Sunday. "It was very heartbreaking."

And there may be more lawsuits on the way.

"We heard perhaps that there are even others coming," McDonald said. "But we don't know all the details. Everything is not as it seems."

McDonald said the accusations have implications that will eventually reach far beyond Long and the New Birth church in terms of how the country views the black church and the role of the mega-church.

"Our prayer is that there will be wholeness at the end of the day," he said. "My prayer is that it doesn't go to trial."

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