Bishop Eddie Long appeared in a courtroom Friday to deal with accusations of sexual coercion being brought by four young men who were once members of his church. The judge decided that the trial should begin by next summer, unless the case is settled via mediation before that time.
Attorneys in the DeKalb County courtroom gathered for both sides to determine the status of the case. A tentative trial date has been set for July 11, 2011. There will be mediation before that time, set to take place in February.
Anthony Flagg, Maurice Robinson, Jamal Parris, and Spenser LaGrande are arguing that Bishop Long used his influence over them to coerce them into sexual relationships. They claim that the relationships took place during their teen years, and that inappropriate contact occurred during some of their trips together. Long's church, the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, hasn't argued for Long's innocence or guilt. Instead, they've simply acknowledged that Long did share hotel rooms with some of the young men and that they did take trips together.