Terry Bean Arrested on Charges of Sex Abuse of a Minor
Prominent Obama supporter and Democratic party activist initially faced allegations of secretly videotaping sex acts
Terry Bean, a Portland power player in national Democratic politics and the gay rights movement, was arrested today on charges of sex abuse in a case involving a 15-year-old boy.
Police arrested Bean, 66, and booked him at the Multnomah County Detention Center this morning.
Law enforcement sources familiar with the case say Bean will be charged with two counts of sodomy in the third degree, a felony, and sex abuse in the third degree, a misdemeanor. He will be arraigned later in Lane County, where the crimes allegedly occurred in 2013.
The arrest comes after a five-month investigation that began with WW's reporting about allegations of secret video recordings of men having sex in Bean's bedroom. As WW reported in June, Bean went to the police soon after WW began asking questions, telling them that he was a victim of an extortion plot by a former lover, Kiah Lawson. WW's story revealed, among other things, that months before, Bean sought to keep the allegations about the video recordings quiet and tried to reach a $40,000 settlement with Lawson.
Lawson told WW that early this year he had discovered a hidden camera in a smoke detector above Bean's bed. Lawson claimed he was in more than one video that was made without his knowledge, and that video recording also captured at least a half dozen men “in a state of nudity engaged in intimate acts with [Bean].”
At the time, Bean’s attorney, Kristen Winemiller, denied the camera had been used for any illegal or improper purpose, and that it had been installed because Bean had been the victim of theft. Winemiller said Lawson was extorting Bean.
“Terry made the mistake of falling for the wrong man,” Winemiller said in June. “Since that mistake, Terry has been the victim of a ring of men who have broken into his homes, stolen money and personal property and tried to extort money from him by threatening his sterling public reputation.”
Winemiller said then that police should focus of Bean’s accusers. “We are confident," she toldWW, "that investigators will uncover the full depth of what has been done to Mr. Bean."
Yet the investigation—directed by the Clackamas County District Attorney's office—shifted to Bean himself and led to today’s arrest.
Bean made millions as a real estate developer and used his wealth to promote political causes, primarily gay rights. He is a founder of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s leading gay-rights organization and has given more than $1 million to the group.
He has also been a central figure in national Democratic politics. As WW reported in June: “No Oregonian has raised more money for President Barack Obama. At a 2009 Human Rights Campaign dinner, Obama called Bean a ‘great friend and supporter.’ The president in 2012 hosted Bean on Air Force One, and when Obama visits Oregon, Bean has had the honor of greeting him as the president gets off his plane.”
Bean's attorney was not immediately available for comment.