PORTLAND, Ore. — A prominent gay rights activist who co-founded the Human Rights Campaign and the Victory Fund, and his former boyfriend, have been arrested on charges of sex abuse in a case involving a 15-year-old boy.
Terrance Bean, 66, was charged with two counts of third-degree sodomy, a felony, and one count of third-degree sex abuse, a misdemeanor, The Oregonian reports. His former boyfriend, Kiah Loy Lawson, 25, is accused of third-degree sodomy and third-degree sexual abuse.
Both Bean and Lawson are accused of having a sexual encounter with the same 15-year-old boy in a hotel in Eugene, Ore. last year. They had arranged the encounter with the teen after meeting him via a website, investigators allege.
Bean has been one of Oregon’s biggest Democratic donors and an influential figure in gay rights circles in the state.
He helped found two major national political groups, the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, and has been a major contributor for several Democratic presidential candidates, including Barack Obama. He’s also a close friend of former Gov. Barbara Roberts.
Willamette Week reports that the arrests come following a six-month investigation that began with allegations Bean secretly made video recordings of men having sex in his bedroom.
Article continues belowIn June, Willamette Week reported that Bean accused Lawson of attempting to extort him over the discovery of a hidden camera. In the spring, Bean sought to keep the allegations secret and tried to reach a $40,000 settlement with Lawson.
Bean’s attorney, Kristen Winemiller, said in a statement that Bean has cooperated with the investigation, adding that it’s her client who was the “victim of an extortion ring” by several men.
Bean, who has been on the Board of Directors of the HRC since 1980, has taken a voluntary leave of absence from the HRC Board until the issue is resolved, an HRC official told LGBTQ Nation on Thursday.