Terry Bean, the Oregon Gay-Rights Pioneer and Leading Democratic Fundraiser, Re-Indicted on Sex Abuse Charges

Charges of sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy were previously dismissed in 2015.

Terry Bean in 2015. (James Rexroad)

Terry Bean, the civil-rights pioneer and Democratic Party fundraiser, has again been indicted on sexual abuse charges stemming from an alleged 2013 incident for which charges were previously dismissed.

Bean appeared at an arraignment this morning with his attorney, Derek Ashton, court records show, and was taken into custody.

In November 2014, a Lane County grand jury indicted Bean, a fifth-generation Oregonian now 70, on two counts of sodomy in the third degree, a felony, and one count of sexual abuse in the third degree, a misdemeanor.

The charges rippled across Oregon's political and gay rights community. For decades, Bean, a co-founder of the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C., had been a leader in the fight for LGBTQ rights. That work and his role as a successful real estate developer made him a significant political player.

In Oregon, he was a frequent social companion of former Gov. Barbara Roberts and a founder of the Right to Privacy political action committee, the state's first gay rights PAC. In 1992, Bean led the fight to defeat Measure 9, which aimed to enshrine homophobic language in the state constitution.

Nationally, Bean raised money for a variety of Democratic politicians, most notably former President Barack Obama, who hosted Bean in the White House and on Air Force One.

But Bean's private life was complicated.

In 2014, In the wake of a WW cover story, ("Terry Bean's Problem," WW, June 3, 2014) a Lane County grand jury indicted Bean and the former boyfriend, Kiah Lawson, on charges that they'd had sex with a 15-year-old boy while Bean, a University of Oregon grad and ardent Ducks fan, visited Eugene in the fall of 2013 for a college football game.

Related: Terry Bean's Problem

As the case proceeded to trial, Bean reportedly offered the alleged underage victim $220,000 to accept a civil compromise—a type of alternative resolution to a criminal charge. But the trial judge refused to accept the civil compromise. Trial was set for August 11, 2015.

But weeks before the trial, the alleged victim simply disappeared. The trial was postponed but when the alleged victim surfaced, he refused to testify. Charges against Bean were dismissed, without prejudice, on Sept. 1, 2015. That meant the charges could be reinstated in the future, should circumstances change.

At the time, Bean proclaimed his innocence in a statement.

"I was falsely accused and completely innocent of every accusation that was made," Bean said then. "I look forward to being able to tell the story of this conspiracy of lies, deceit, blackmail, malicious prosecution and homophobia now that this case has ended."

Bean and his alleged victim may now get their days in court. On Jan. 4, A Lane County grand jury voted to re-indict Bean on the same charges. It is unclear what prompted the change in circumstances, however, the alleged victim recently filed a complaint with the Oregon State Bar, saying that the lawyer who represented him in the Bean case, Lori Deveny, never gave the alleged victim  a $220,000 settlement that Bean apparently did pay. Deveny was the subject of this week's cover story.

Related: Game Over: For Decades, Clients Trusted Lori Deveny to Get Compensation for Their Injuries. Turns Out She Kept Much of Their Money.

In a statement, Bean's attorney, Derek Ashton, said his client is the victim of extortion.

"Once again, Terry is innocent of the charges," Ashton said. "The accuser wants money. It's that simple. Years ago, while threatening a civil suit, this same person was able to use the District Attorney as a tool to leverage his false claims. Now, more than three years later, he wants more money. The answer is no. This case is a continuation of the 2014 blackmail scam by Mr. [Kiah] Lawson and others, including today's accuser. Mr. Bean is the victim and he has paid enough. We will see them in court."

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