Prominent gay rights activist pleads not guilty to sex crime charges

Terry Bean

Terry Bean

EUGENE, Ore. — Prominent Oregon gay rights activist Terry Bean pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Eugene to sodomy and sex abuse charges involving a 15-year-old boy.

Terry Bean

Terry Bean

His lawyer, Kristen Winemiller, previously said Bean is the victim of an extortion ring.

KGW reports she said Wednesday the group involves his ex-partner Kiah Lawson.

The 66-year-old Bean and 25-year-old Lawson were arrested last month and accused of sexually abusing the teen last year at a Eugene hotel.

Lawson also has pleaded not guilty.

Bean is a Portland real estate developer who helped to found two national political groups, the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.

He has been a major contributor for several Democratic presidential candidates.

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