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Crime

Gay rights pioneer Terry Bean may escape sex abuse trial as victim vanishes

Nick Duffy August 4, 2015

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.

More: Assault, Crime, Equality, Gay rights, Human Rights Campaign, LGBT, Sex, sex abuse, Terry Bean, trial, US

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