News (USA)

Prosecutors: Charges against activist likely to be dropped

Prosecutors: Charges against activist likely to be dropped
Terry Bean
Terry Bean

EUGENE, Ore. — Prosecutors said Friday that they expect to dismiss child sex-abuse charges against prominent gay rights activist Terry Bean because the alleged victim is unlikely to show up for trial.

The trial, now scheduled to begin Tuesday, was delayed for three weeks so authorities could attempt to get in touch with the 17-year-old victim, who went into hiding to avoid being subpoenaed.

The boy doesn’t want testify and has attempted suicide because he’s traumatized by the prospect of being forced to appear, said his attorney, Lori Deveny, the Oregonian reported ( ).

Lane County Chief Deputy District Attorney Erik Hasselman said he met with the teenager earlier this month and assured him that the state won’t compel him to return for the trial. The boy lives in San Diego.

A judge last month rejected a proposed civil compromise between the boy and Bean that would have ended the case without criminal charges. Details of the proposed settlement have not been made public.

Lawyers for Bean and the teen asked a Lane County judge to dismiss the case Friday so they wouldn’t have to return next week, the Register-Guard reported ( ). Prosecutors said they’ll seek permission to refile charges if the boy changes his mind about testifying.

Authorities allege the 66-year-old Bean and his ex-boyfriend, 25-year-old Kiah Lawson, had sex with the teen in a Eugene hotel room in 2013 when the boy was 15. Bean and Lawson have both pleaded not guilty.

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 generally does not name alleged victims of sex crimes.

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