A Lane County Court judge today dismissed felony sex charges against Portland activist Terry Bean and another man, who were indicted for sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy in 2013.
The reason for the dismissal was that the alleged victim declined to testify as a witness against Bean in court.
But the judge did grant prosecutors' request that charges be dismissed "without prejudice."
This means that if the alleged victim changes his mind about testifying any time in the next 12 years, the charges can be refiled.
The Eugene Register Guard is also reporting a detail of the case that Bean's attorney sought to keep out of the public record—the amount of money that Bean offered to pay the victim earlier this summer in order to secure a civil compromise and avoid trial.
That amount, according to Lane County Chief Deputy District Attorney Erik Hasselman, was more than $200,000, a figure first reported today by the Register Guard.
As WW reported earlier, prosecutors say that the alleged victim told a consistent story about his abuse by Bean and another man, Kiah Lawson. He most recently recounted the alleged abuse on Aug. 13, while at the same time explaining to a prosecutor that he did not want to testify against Bean. Prosecutors have earlier questioned whether the cash offer was connected to the victim's decision not to testify.
Nonetheless, after the case against him was dismissed this morning, Bean issued a statement proclaiming innocence.
"I have been silent for almost a year on the advice of my attorney, but while I am relieved that the charges against me have been dropped, this nightmare never should have even begun. I take some measure of comfort that the world now knows what I have always known â that I was falsely accused and completely innocent of every accusation that was made. I didnât go through this alone â my friends, family and business associates suffered alongside of me both because of the false accusations and their support of me. I am immensely grateful and moved by their unwavering support. 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.
In an interview with WW, Hasselman, the prosecutor, called Bean's statement "disingenuous."
"If Mr. Bean looked forward to deciding the case on its merits, I'm curious as to why he offered the victim over $200,000 to get the case dismissed," Hasselman says. "When I spoke with the victim in mid-August in Clackamas County, I asked him how he felt about the fact that Mr. Bean was claiming his story was a lie. The victim said he was disappointed that Mr. Bean was calling him a liar because his testimony before the Grand Jury was absolutely true."