Alleged Bishop Long abuse victim speaks out
When reporters caught up with Jamal Parris outside a Colorado grocery store he was reluctant to talk, But once he got started he had plenty to say about Bishop Eddie Long.
"While you can sit in front of the church and tell them that you categorically deny it, you cannot say it to our face. And you know this. You are not a man, you are a monster," said Parris.
Strong words from a man who says he was sexually abused by Atlanta mega-church pastor, Bishop Eddie Long.
"This man manipulated us from childhood," said Parris."This man turned his back when he had no more need for us. That's not a father. That's a predator."
Parris is one of four men suing long, claiming he lured them into sexual relationships with gifts and overseas trips. He is now 23, but he says the abuse went on when he was a teenager.
One of the questions being raised is why would the victim wait so long if these accusations were true? Psychologists say that it's not an uncommon occurrence with abuse victims.
"In instances where there is sexual abuse a lot of the times people are still very embarrassed about that. They don't want to go out and say 'oh I've been abused,' especially if it is same sex," said Diane Cerjan, a psychologist at the Renaissance Centre in Albany.
She says it makes it even more difficult when the abuser has position of power.
"What I have seen and heard, is that he is very much beloved in this congregation. And so if any of this is true, it would make sense that anyone who would want to say something against that might find themselves in a position where they don't think that anyone would believe them," said Cerjan.
Sometimes victims never end up coming forward.
"A lot of times however what happens to folks is is that they think wow, I don't want that to happen to anybody else and sometimes that helps," said Cerjan.
For Parris it's an ordeal he says will stick with him for the rest of his life.
"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 that he made me cry many nights in his car on the way home... Not able to take enough showers to wipe the smell of him off my body," said Parris.