Terry Bean, 66, co-founder of the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, has been arrested on sodomy and sex abuse charges that allegedly involved a 15-year-old Oregon boy.
Also charged is Bean's former boyfriend, 25-year-old Kiah Lawson. The two are said to have set up the meeting with the child through the gay dating app, Grindr. The incident happened in a Eugene, OR hotel in September of 2013.
Bean pleaded not guilty and posted bail. He will appear in court in December. His lawyers say these allegations are a larger part of an extortion ring against the gay rights activist.
The ex-boyfriend also pleaded not guilty. Lawson's mother, Tim Nouanemany, told local KOIN 6 News that Bean "groomed" her son with "alcohol and Viagra" in order to "get [Bean] young kids." She says her son went from "a happy young man" to "someone who is not himself" after meeting Bean.
Lawson helped police with the investigation by providing the phone number of the teen, but that also lead to his arrest. Lawson charged that Bean had installed a hidden camera above his bed to capture sexual encounters.
Bean is a prominent Democrat, a member-at-large of the Democratic National Committee and ardent supporter of Barack Obama, Al Gore, and Bill Clinton. Bean contributed $500,000 to Obama's reelection campaign in 2012. At many events, including one hosted by HRC, Obama thanked his "good friend" Bean. CNN has a detailed report of this relationship with video.
Bean's lawyer declares, "Terry Bean is a highly respected community leader who has devoted his life to bettering our community. No allegations against [him] should be taken at face value. We look forward to the opportunity to clear his name.”
Image source: Flickr/Bire_pdx