Sex abuse charges against prominent gay rights activist Terry Be - KPTV - FOX 12

Sex abuse charges against prominent gay rights activist Terry Bean dismissed

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Terry Bean, file image Terry Bean, file image
EUGENE, OR (KPTV) -

A judge has dismissed the criminal charges against a prominent Portland gay rights activist who was accused of sexually abusing a teen boy.

Terry Bean was arrested at his home in southwest Portland in November 2014 after he was indicted by a Lane County grand jury.

Bean is a 66-year-old developer who co-founded two national gay rights groups and is a large donor to Democratic candidates.

Prosecutors allege that Bean and his then-boyfriend, Kiah Lawson, met the teen for sex in a Eugene hotel room in 2013.

Prosecutors said the charges were dropped Tuesday due to the teen, who now lives out of state, refusing to return to testify in the case.

Prosecutors said the case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning the district attorney's office can refile charges at a later date if circumstances change.

Lane County prosecutor Erik Hasselman said he hopes that will happen before the statute of limitations expires, as he feels there is a strong case against Bean and Lawson, with enough evidence for a conviction.

However, Bean and his attorney issued statements Tuesday saying the case was "a blatant conspiracy against an innocent and honorable man."

Bean said he looks forward to being able to tell the story of "this conspiracy of lies, deceit, blackmail, malicious prosecution and homophobia now that this case has ended."

"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. 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," Bean's statement said.

Prosecutors said the defense offered the victim more than $200,000 to settle the case out of court, but a previous judge denied that option.

Copyright 2015 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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