The long-running saga of sex abuse charges against the Portland real estate investor, political donor and LGBTQ rights pioneer Terry Bean took another turn today when Portland police arrested Bean's former criminal attorney, Derek Ashton.
Ashton represented Bean in 2015 when Bean first faced sex abuse charges in Lane County relating to a 2013 incident in which Bean and another man, Kiah Lawson, allegedly had sex with a 15-year-old boy in a Eugene hotel. On the eve of a scheduled 2015 trial, the alleged victim, described in court records by his initials, M.S.G., refused to testify and so the case was dismissed.
Then, earlier this year, M.S.G. changed his mind after learning that his attorney, Lori Deveny, had allegedly stolen from him most of the $220,000 that Bean had agreed to pay him as a civil settlement. With M.S.G.'s cooperation, the Lane County District Attorney's office re-filed sex abuse charges against Bean and Lawson. Lawson went to trial first and was found guilty and sentenced to two years in prison.
Bean had been scheduled for trial next month but he recently hired a new criminal defense attorney, resulting in postponement until May.
Today's arrest of Ashton, first reported by the Portland Tribune, resulted from the machinations around the 2015 trial.
Initially, Bean and Ashton proposed what is known as a "civil compromise" to the criminal charges against Bean: under Oregon law, he could have paid a financial settlement to resolve the criminal case against him. But Lane County Judge Charles Zennache refused to allow such a settlement. This year, Portland Police Bureau Det. Jeff Myers and Lane County Deputy District Attorney Erik Hasselman have described in court filings what they believe was a 2015 arrangement between Ashton and Deveney to improperly ensure that M.S.G didn't testify.
That is why Ashton was arrested this morning.