Sex abuse case settlement denied for gay rights activist

By : Wire Report
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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) – A judge isn’t letting Oregon gay rights activist Terry Bean settle a teen sex abuse case out of court.

The Register-Guard reports 66-year-old Bean and his ex-boyfriend, 25-year-old Kiah Lawson, have pleaded not guilty and are being tried Aug. 11 on felony sex abuse charges.

Prosecutors say the men met a 15-year-old boy at a hotel and paid him $40 for the encounter.

The boy is now 17 years old and wants the charges dismissed. Portland lawyer Lori Deveny joined Lawson’s lawyers in supporting the out-of-court settlement before Judge Charles Zennaché in Eugene.

She said her client won’t testify, and that the settlement would have given him the voice and protection he’s been seeking.

“I can tell you it’s not only about the money,” Deveny said in court. “He’s not just getting money. He’s getting many of the things that are important to him for the rest of his life.”

Prosecutor Scott Healy said the agreement may be allowable under the law, it wasn’t appropriate for a sex abuse case.

Zennaché said ruled against the out-of-court settlement.

“It sounds like kids are for purchase,” Zennaché said. “That doesn’t sound like good public policy.”

Derek Ashton is representing Bean and issued a statement shortly after the settlement was denied.

“Terry Bean is innocent of these charges,” Ashton said. “Nothing that transpired (on July 16) changes that fact, despite the prosecutor’s attempts to color the proceedings. Terry looks forward to proving his innocence at trial.”

Ashton said in court that Healy colored proceedings by filing court documents referring to two men who say Bean abused them when they were teens.

Zennaché will decide whether to allow their testimony at trial.

Bean is a Portland real estate developer who helped to found two national political groups, the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. He has been a major contributor for several Democratic presidential candidates.

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