Possible resolution near in Bishop Eddie Long lawsuit

LITHONIA, Ga. (AP) - A judge says a lawsuit involving four young men and the Georgia megachurch pastor they accused of sexual misconduct is near a resolution.

Judge Johnny Panos said Friday that lengthy negotiations might soon bring an end to the lawsuit involving Bishop Eddie Long. The pastor has denied the allegations.

Panos said lawyers for both sides began meeting Monday and have spent more than 60 hours in negotiations.

The young men claimed in a September lawsuit that Long coerced them into sexual relationships. The men say Long abused his spiritual authority to lure them into trysts with cars, jewelry and cash when they were 17 and 18.

If a settlement is not reached, the case could still go to trial. Long is the leader of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.

Copyright Associated Press 2011.