PORTLAND, Ore. — A 17-year-old at the center of sexual abuse allegations against Oregon gay rights activist Terry Bean has gone into hiding with his mother and stopped using his cellphone to avoid testifying at an upcoming trial, prosecutors said.
The trial is set to start on Aug. 11, but prosecutor Scott Healy requested a delay as authorities try to find the teen and serve a subpoena.
Lori Deveney, the boy’s attorney, previously told prosecutors her client had agreed to a financial settlement with Bean and did not want to testify. A judge, however, rejected the deal and ruled criminal charges should be pursued.
Court records show the teen quit his jobs in San Diego in July and took a train to Eugene with his mother, who lives in Oregon. Mother and son stopped using their cellphones and credit cards because they didn’t want to be traced by law enforcement, the records state, and disappeared in a car rented by a friend.
“The victim, aided by his mother and her friend, have gone to extraordinary measures to avoid service in this case,” Healy said in his motion.
Charges could be dismissed if the teen doesn’t testify. If that happens, the judge could allow the state to refile charges against the 66-year-old Bean and his former boyfriend, 25-year-old Kiah Lawson, at a later date.
Bean and Lawson are accused of sexually abusing the boy at a Eugene hotel in 2013 when he was 15. Prosecutors said the teen was paid $40 for the encounter.
Both men have pleaded not guilty to two counts of sodomy and one count of sexual abuse.
Derek Ashton, Bean’s attorney, said he opposes any continuance of the case.
“Over the past 14 months, Terry Bean has been the target of a smear campaign engineered by convicted felons and a suspended attorney,” Ashton said in a written statement. “The special prosecutor has had more than eight months to put his case together.”
Bean is a Portland real estate developer who helped 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.
The Associated Press does not name minors in sexual assault cases.
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