DA: Bishop Long tried to have burglary charges dropped

| September 28, 2010

Despite the personal intervention of Bishop Eddie Long, the DeKalb County district attorney will proceed with a case against two men accused of breaking into Long's office at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, the chief assistant DA said Monday.

Four young men filed suit against Long and his church last week. One of them, Maurice Robinson, has been charged with the burglary of Long's office.

Last month, Long visited former District Attorney Gwen Keyes-Fleming and asked her to drop the charges, Chief Assistant District Attorney Don Geary said.

“He did request we not prosecute both parties,” Geary told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday.

Keyes-Fleming, who resigned to take a job with the Environmental Protection Agency, denied that request. The acting district attorney also wants the case to move forward, Geary said.

“The file is still open and we have no intent to drop the charges,” Geary said.

Robinson and Anthony Boyd were charged with breaking into Long’s office and taking an iPod, iPad and jewelry, according to a police report.

Robinson’s attorney, B.J. Bernstein, said Robinson, 20, committed the burglary out of “retaliation” after learning that Long was involved with other men.

It’s unclear what files were on the iPad. Geary said prosecutors never got a chance to see the items taken in the burglary because Robinson returned them all to Long.

Prosecutors are now investigating reports that Anthony Flagg, who also filed a lawsuit against Long, was present during the burglary. Flagg, 21, has not been charged and no hearing dates have been set.

Geary said it is not uncommon for burglary victims to ask for the charges to be dropped or for the district attorney to meet with victims. Geary insisted that Long did not get any special treatment.

“It’s common for churches or small businesses to ask us not to prosecute, especially when they find out [the suspect] is someone they know,” Geary said.

Geary said the district attorney does not have an active investigation into any of the allegations mentioned in the lawsuits. All four of the men have alleged that Long engaged in sex acts with the men when they were 16 or older.

On Sunday, Long told his congregation that he will fight the allegations.

“This thing I’m going to fight,” he told the crowd at the Lithonia megachurch.

Bernstein declined to comment on Long’s sermon and said that no new lawsuits were filed Monday.

The four lawsuits, which were all filed last week in DeKalb County State Court, all claim Long, in his role as a church leader, coerced the young men into sexual relationships. The suits allege that Long took the men on lavish trips and bought them gifts.

In addition to Robinson and Flagg, suits were filed by Jamal Parris and Spencer LeGrande.



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Category: Church Security

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