Multnomah County Detention Center
Terry Bean, left, a high-profile LGBT+ activist and Obama donor, was arrested and charged with using a computer while conspiring to prevent a 15-year-old boy from testifying against him and his ex-boyfriend after they allegedly had sex with the teenager in an Oregon hotel room.
Bean, 71, was arrested on October 30 and charged with two counts of felony 3rd-degree sodomy and misdemeanor sexual abuse. He was released from jail on $3,000 bond the same day.
His then-attorney, Derek Ashton (pictured right), was arrested hours earlier and also posted a $3,000 bond. Ashton is a prominent Portland attorney who once represented the Portland mayor. Both Bean and Ashton are charged with an elaborate scheme to conceal the whereabouts of the then-teenage victim to prevent him from testifying against Bean.
Bean is a prominent land developer in Portland and a co-founder of one the largest LGBT+ organizations in America: the Human Rights Campaign. He raised over $500,000 for former President Barack Obama's re-election campaign.
Bean was originally arrested in 2014, at age 66, for arranging a sex hookup with a 15-year-old boy after meeting him on an online dating app.
Bean's ex-boyfriend, 25-year-old Kiah Lawson, was also arrested for having sex with the teen in the hotel. Bean and Lawson both filed restraining orders against each other. Lawson eventually dropped his restraining order but Bean's restraining order still stands.
The case was dropped in 2015 after the boy went missing and prosecutors were unable to find him. Prosecutors reopened the case in August after locating the now 20-year-old victim who detailed the extraordinary lengths that were undertaken to protect the high-profile friend of a sitting president.
The case began to unravel in 2015 when Ashton asked a judge to approve a $220,000 payment to the teenager to make the whole case go away. The judge said no, but the men paid the boy anyway.
Paying off a victim is legal in certain criminal cases in Oregon if a judge approves it. But bribing a victim or witness to make a criminal charge go away is a crime.
At the time, Bean released a statement claiming he was exonerated and "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 actively searched for the boy to get him to testify against Bean, but the teenager was nowhere to be found. At least three Portland attorneys conspired to conceal the boy's location.
The victim, who is reportedly Black, later told prosecutors that, after he received the $220,000, his own attorney, Lori Deveny, arranged to hide him in her girlfriend, Deanna Wray's cabin in a remote location in Oregon. Wray is also an attorney in Portland.
The scheme involved cash exchanging hands, a "burner" cell phone, and the disabling of a Lojack tracking device on a rental car.
"She told me not to talk to certain people, she told me to go on the run at a certain point," the boy reportedly told a detective in reference to his lawyer, Deveny. "So, if I did testify I was told I wasn't supposed to get my money. So that's why I did not testify. And that’s why my attorney told me to go on the run."
The Portland Tribune first reported that a legal assistant to Wray, who was nervous that the case was reopened, went to her then-law firm to confess that she was involved in helping the teen disappear.
Bean met Lawson in 2013. He was immediately smitten with the "stunning" mixed race young man. Bean put Lawson up in a luxury apartment and paid his rent as well as gave him $1,600 a month for expenses.
Bean, who is wealthy and very well-connected, took Lawson on trips around the world and introduced him to his high-profile friends, including then-President Barack Obama during a private party at the White House.
Multnomah County Detention Center, Facebook
Lawson is seen speaking to then-President Obama at the White House in a photo posted on his Facebook page in 2014.
According to Gay America Blog, Lawson has a lengthy criminally record that includes assault and battery on previous boyfriends.
More arrests are expected, and multiple attorneys will likely be disbarred for obstruction of justice.
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