Prominent Democrat Terrence P. Bean has been indicted for sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy with his boyfriend in a hotel room. He was arrested at his home in southwest Portland on Wednesday and charged with two counts of third-degree sodomy and one count of third-degree sex abuse. Portland police tracked down the 15-year-old boy whose testimony helped lead to the sex abuse indictment against Bean and his former boyfriend, Kiah L. Lawson. Bean and Lawson allegedly set up an encounter with the teen through the iPhone app “Grindr”. The popular app is a mobile social network that helps gay men find other local gay men or just curious men, for dating. The app advertises, “Meet the men nearest you with GPS.”
On Sept. 27, 2013, Bean, 66, and Lawson, 25, are accused of having sex with the 15-year-old boy at a Eugene hotel. Friday afternoon, Lawson pleaded not guilty to the three counts. Lawson’s attorney, Jeffrey Dickey, said “The surprising thing to me is Kiah was indicted in this case because it was Kiah who helped authorities find this kid.” He went on to say, “If someone is going to cooperate and be helpful for the police there should be some kind of reward for that. It could have a chilling effect on others coming forward.”
Bean’s attorney, Kristen Winemiller, said her client has been cooperating with authorities and that they look forward to clearing his name. It isn’t clear if Bean or Lawson knew that the boy was under age. The Lane County indictments follow an extremely unstable relationship between the two men. The problems allegedly started when Lawson found Bean was secretly videotaping his sexual encounters with Lawson and a handful of other men. Bean’s attorney claims Bean was not engaged in any illicit use of security cameras. She said, “Terry has a security system in the home which has been used for no purpose beyond the manner in which a security system is typically used, ” This story was first reported by the local press, and there have been vague references to sexual trouble for Bean and Lawson since June, but the national media has not picked it up.
Terry Bean is the co-founder of two of the biggest national campaign groups and raised more than $500,000 for Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election bid. Bean is a revered character among the gay rights activist community and with the Democratic Party. He helped to form the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay And Lesbian Victory Fund. A search of the Federal Election Commission’s campaign-finance database turns up thousands in donations every cycle by Bean to the Democratic Party’s most powerful leaders, including Hillary Clinton, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Dick Durbin, and Rep. Barney Frank, among others. Photos of Bean posted online show him flying on Air Force One with Obama.