Democratic Party fundraiser and gay activist Terry Bean made sex-abuse allegations with a 17-year-old boy disappear on Tuesday thanks to a $200,000 settlement offer.
Terry Bean, 67, faced child sexual-abuse charges over a September 2013 incident that allegedly occurred at a Eugene, Oregon, hotel with his ex-boyfriend, 25-year-old Kiah Lawson, and the teenager. Lane County Circuit Judge Jay McAlpin dismissed the case when Lane County Chief Deputy District Attorney Erik Hasselman said the teenager declined to testify, the Register Guard reported Wednesday.
“Mr. Bean, you are free to go,” the judge said, the newspaper reported.
Bean released a statement after the decision, saying “I have been silent for almost a year on the advice of my attorney, but while I am relieved that the charges against me have been dropped, this nightmare never should have even begun,” the Oregonian reported Tuesday. “I take some measure of comfort that the world now knows what I have always known – that I was falsely accused and completely innocent of every accusation that was made.”
The Deputy District Attorney Hasselman said that while the young man refused to testify, he maintains he was the victim of third-degree sexual abuse and third-degree sodomy, the Register Guard reported.
Hasselman said he is convinced that a civil compromise offered by Bean, which is legal under Oregon law, influenced the young man’s decision. A judge had denied the offer in July.
“Mr. Bean offered him over $200,000 to civilly compromise this case,” Hasselman said, the Oregonian reported. “Now if you’re this child and you have the choice between embarrassment and $5 a day [as a paid witness] and over $200,000 … it seems to me that would be a highly influential factor in deciding what you’re going to do.”
Bean was a donor for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign and influential in the creation of the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, the newspaper reported.
Lawson has a separate sex-abuse trial next week in Washington County involving an incident with a then-17-year-old boy in June 2013, the Oregonian reported. Bean was subpoenaed on Tuesday by Gabriel Bielloto, Lawson’s attorney, to appear at the trial.