The attorney for Terry Bean has posted a defense of the Portland real-estate developer and Oregon political figure, after WW's cover story today on allegations he is the victim of extortion by a former boyfriend. The story says Kiah Lawson claims to have discovered a hidden camera above Bean's bed that was capturing images of men having sex. Bean, through his attorney, said the security system was never used for illegal or improper purposes.
The message from attorney Kristen Winemiller appeared on Bean's Facebook.
From the Desk of Kristen Winemiller
Pacific Northwest Law LLP
June 4, 2014
Re: Willamette Week Article about Terry Bean
Willamette Week published a story today about Terry Bean that lays out crimes perpetrated against him by a group of men who have been threatening Terry for the past four and a half months and details some of their methods and allegations. The story relies on convicted criminals, with ulterior motives, for the allegations told about Terry.
Here is the real and basic story:
Terry Bean has lived in Oregon his whole life and has been an active member of the Portland LGBT community for over 40 years. It is well known that Terry’s generosity has touched every walk of Portland life. He is also a respected businessman who has built a successful real estate company.
Unfortunately, Terry made the mistake of falling for the wrong guy: Kiah Lawson. And for the past four and a half months, Terry has been the victim of a crime ring of men who have broken into his homes, stolen money and personal items and tried to extort money from him by threatening his public reputation. They stole his passwords, overwrote his electronic communications and engaged in complicated identity theft to make their actions appear to be coming from Terry. This apparent drug fueled activity was masterminded by Lawson and his associates.
Mr. Bean has initiated law enforcement action has begun against these men. An investigation is currently underway that Mr. Bean fully supports.
He will reserve his comments on the evidence while law enforcement is investigating.
In the meantime, here are some important facts:
-Substantial facts about the crimes have already been shared with the criminal investigators.
-Multiple witnesses are corroborating Terry’s story to law enforcement.
-Other victims who wish not to be publicly named have also made similar claims were given legal support to facilitate their reports to law enforcement.
-Terry has a security system throughout his house to protect his many valuables. It operates on a hard drive that overwrites itself at short intervals. No footage from that system is separately archived or used beyond the intended purpose of a security system. And Willamette Week offered no proof to suggest otherwise. Lawson is the only person who has accessed the system for an inappropriate purpose in order to fabricate a story for his crimes. And until that break-in in January 2014, Terry never accessed that system nor did he know how to do so.
-There is substantial evidence that proves that Lawson and his associates engineered the fabrications underlying the Willamette Week story's premise in order to cover up their crimes.
Terry looks forward to law enforcement putting an end to the campaign these thieves have waged against him. Please respect Terry's desire to let law enforcement do its work. He has chosen not to give out any more details at this time so as not to interfere with law enforcement action.
How you can help:
Don’t speculate beyond what is written here. Simply expressing your confidence in Terry's good character is important. He is a man of integrity and good will. If you know him, that is what you should share. Resist allowing yourself to be drawn into speculation or debate - that will only fuel the media coverage at a time that law enforcement should be supported rather than impeded and usurped.
In comments, social media and conversation, having Terry's back will mean the world to him. He appreciates your support and good words in this difficult time. He looks forward to expending his energy on more affirmative and productive pursuits again soon.
The following is what Governor Barbara Roberts wrote to Willamette Week earlier this week:
To the editor,
Terry Bean is not just a dear and trusted friend of mine - a well known fact - but I am also privy to the situation regarding Mr Kiah Lawson and have been from the start. For this reason, I implore you to consider two things with your story.
First, please recognize that Terry is the victim here. Regardless of whether he is given a chance chance to refute them, unsubstantiated charges and innuendos will stain his reputation. Please reputation. Please don't give credence to the same accusations that were threatened by his
his extortionists. Even if your story is clear on their criminal records and I understand there are there are multiple, repeating the charges against Terry seems to be doing their bidding and not and not honoring the truth of a man who has been a respected and generous member of the the Portland community for his entire life.
Second, since I have been aware of this situation from the start, I am an appropriate witness for witness for Terry in your article. I have full faith in doing so because as soon as Terry found out found out what Kiah was doing to him, he confided it to me - in late January. I followed his
his attempts to help Kiah get treatment for his drug problem and to ignore his own safety to do safety to do so. He really cared about this man and as such, it took a bit longer than it should should have to wake him up to the fact that he was conspiring against him with help from
from others. I am so relieved it is now in law enforcement's hands.
Please put the following quote in your story attributable to me, "I have known Terry Bean for 30 years. There is no finer or more trustworthy man in Oregon. He has helped so many people. I also met Mr. Lawson and was privy to the incredible deceit and crimes he and his associates inflicted on Terry for many months. I am hopeful that law enforcement acts swiftly to put an end to this charade and I feel terrible for Terry that this unfortunate incident has become public".
Sincerely, Barbara Roberts
Please refer all media inquiries to my office.
Very Truly Yours,
Kristen L. Winemiller