Gay rights pioneer Terry Bean may escape sex abuse trial as victim vanishes
A veteran gay rights activist may not face trial over sex abuse allegations – after his accuser failed to surface.
Terry Bean is a gay rights pioneer who co-founded a number of groups, including the Human Rights Campaign, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, and the National Gay Games, and the LGBT for Obama campaign.
The 66-year-old – who was a close personal friend of Mr Obama – was arrested last year over allegations that he and his partner had sex with a minor in 2013.
He pleaded not guilty charges of sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy – but in a twist this week, the alleged victim failed to show up just a week before the pair’s trial was set to begin.
The trial of Bean and ex-partner Kiah Lawson has been set to begin on August 11 – but may entirely collapse unless the now 17-year-old victim comes forward.
Clackamas County Deputy District Attorney Scott Healy admitted to the Register-Guard that officials don’t know where the youth is.
Bean’s attorney Derek Ashton told the newspaper that he would “strongly oppose” a delay – and will seek for the case to be dismissed if no victim comes forward.
He added: “The state has had months and months and months to put its case together.”
Prosecutors claim that Bean and Lawson met the alleged victim on gay hook-up app Grindr, and that they were aware he was underage when they had sex.
Bean has pleaded not guilty to charges.