ATLANTA— Atlanta-based megachurch leader Bishop Eddie Long and four men who accused him of sexual misconduct have settled out of court, spokesmen for both sides said Thursday.
The men had alleged that the pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church coerced them into sexual relations with gifts including cars, cash and travel when they were 17. One suit also claimed Long had sexual contact with one of them during trips he took them on in the U.S. and abroad. Long denied the allegations, and federal and state authorities didn’t investigate because Georgia’s age of consent is 16.
Eight months ago, when the allegations surfaced, Long told his a 25,000 member congregation in Lithonia, Georgia, that he would fight the accusations against him.