News & Politics

Obama Bundler Terry Bean Indicted on Charges of Sex Abuse of a Minor

Terry Bean, the prominent gay rights activist and Obama fundraiser, has been indicted on charges that he sexually abused a boy under the age of 16. The charges stem from an incident in 2013 that prosecutors previously investigated. The case was originally dismissed in 2014 because the victim refused to cooperate. Bean pleaded not guilty in an arraignment hearing on Thursday.

Bean’s indictment comes on the heels of news of an accusation against another prominent gay rights activist and Democratic fundraiser, Ed Buck. As I wrote last week for PJ Media, Buck and Bean represent a long line of prominent Democrats that have been implicated in sex crimes — often perpetrated against minors.

Here’s last week’s summary of Bean’s misdeeds:

A pioneer in LGBTQ activities, Bean founded the Human Rights Council in the 1970s, and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund in 1991. A prominent Democratic bundler and fundraiser, he has raised funds for the DNC Convention Committee, Howard Dean’s presidential campaign, and Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration ceremony. Bean was indicted by a grand jury in Lane County, Oregon, in 2014 on charges of sodomy and sex abuse of a 15-year-old boy. The sexual encounter occurred when Terry Bean was 65. The charges were dropped after the victim refused to testify, but the Willamette Week later reported that Bean knew full well the age of his victim:

The indictment followed WW‘s publication of a cover story (“Terry Bean’s Problem,” WW, June 4, 2014), detailing a dispute between Bean and his former boyfriend, Kiah Lawson. Bean told the Multnomah County district attorney that Lawson and others were trying to extort money from him.

Bean’s complaint led to a six-month police investigation that ironically turned up allegations against him. Most damaging were police interviews with Lawson, now 26, and a teenager who told police that, at age 15, he had a 2013 sexual encounter with Bean and Lawson in Eugene.

A Lane County judge dismissed the case Sept. 1, after the alleged victim refused to testify. Prosecutors expressed frustration, noting that Bean had earlier offered the alleged victim a substantial payment if he agreed to drop the charges.

Note that, even aside from the criminal charges, the then 66-year-old Bean had just recently broken up with his 25-year-old boyfriend, and blamed the criminal charges on the acrimonious breakup. Were this a heterosexual relationship, even in these modern times, the 40-year-plus age difference would certainly raise some eyebrows.

According to the latest reporting from local TV station KGW,

The alleged victim is not named in the new indictment, but the dates line up with the previous charges. The initials of the alleged victim in the new indictment, M.S.G., are identical to the initials of the alleged victim in the previous case.

Before the previous case was dismissed, detectives were unable to locate the alleged victim and serve him with a subpoena and he never showed up for trial.

The attorney for the alleged victim said in 2015 that he was not interested in pursuing criminal prosecution, and a judge rejected a proposed civil compromise between the boy and Bean that would have ended the case.

After the charges against Bean were dropped, prosecutors sought permission to refile charges if the victim ever changed his mind about testifying.

Erik Hasselman is the prosecutor listed on the new indictment. He also pursued the original case.

Reporting at the time included some pretty disturbing details of the act. According to the 2014 report on OregonLive:

Portland police tracked down the 15-year-old boy whose testimony helped lead to the sex abuse indictment against prominent Democrat Terrence P. Bean and his former boyfriend, Kiah L. Lawson, after Lawson gave police the teen’s phone number …

Bean and Lawson are accused of setting up an encounter with the teen through the iPhone app Grindr, a mobile social network that helps men find “local gay, bi and curious guys for dating.”

The Lane County indictments follow a tumultuous relationship between Bean, 66, and Lawson, 25, that unraveled after Lawson discovered Bean had a hidden camera in the bedroom of his Southwest Portland home in the West Hills [of Portland] …

Lawson had found Bean was surreptitiously videotaping his sexual encounters with Lawson and a handful of other men, Dickey said. The falling out led to each taking out restraining orders against the other earlier this year, and Bean trying to evict Lawson from Bean’s Jantzen Beach condo.

Bean and Lawson met in 2013. Soon, Lawson was living in the condo and was paid about $400 a week by Bean, according to Dickey and Lawson’s restraining order against Bean.

Lawson accompanied Bean on several trips, to his Palm Springs’ home, to a meeting with President Obama at the White House, to the Dominican Republic and Italy …

OregonLive goes on to note that Lawson discovered images on an iPad on a nightstand taken from security cameras around the house. He also found images of sexual encounters involving himself and Bean, along with sexual encounters with “at least a half-dozen other men.”

Bean has always proclaimed his innocence on the charges related to the 15-year-old but has never addressed the claims that he set up surreptitious cameras throughout multiple homes for the purposes of filming sex with other men. Bean has been implicated in setting up these cameras in his condo along the Columbia River, his home in Palm Springs, and his home in the West Hills of Portland.

Still no word whether the Democratic National Committee, in this #metoo environment, will send back any of Bean’s money.

Jeff Reynolds is the author of the forthcoming book, Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy, due out February 26, 2019. The book is available for pre-order now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BAM!, and Indiebound. You can follow Jeff on Twitter @ChargerJeff.