PORTLAND, Ore. — In a case with more twists and turns than a Netflix drama series, the long-running prosecution of Terry Bean is over. Last week, state prosecutors quietly dropped sex abuse charges against the Portland real estate investor, civil rights activist and Democratic political fundraiser.
“Terry Bean has continually maintained his innocence and is pleased the state has dismissed all criminal charges,” wrote Bean’s attorney, Steven Sherlag, in a statement.
The criminal case against Bean goes back almost a decade and has been linked to allegations of embezzlement, lies and misdeeds involving numerous parties.
Two lawyers associated with the case are still under investigation by the Oregon State Bar. A police detective was accused of misconduct, and there were claims that Bean tried to pay off his victim.
Lane County prosecutors indicted Bean and his then-boyfriend Kiah Lawson for sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy in Eugene in 2013.
Lawson was convicted of the crime in 2019 and sentenced to two years in prison. For a variety of reasons, Bean’s trial date was pushed back. In late December, prosecutors said the alleged victim decided he didn’t want to take the witness stand against Bean.
“The alleged victim in this matter communicated to me unequivocally that he has relocated out of state, and he no longer wishes to participate in this pending prosecution,” wrote Erik Hasselman, Lane County deputy district attorney in court papers.
The state’s dismissal of all charges against Bean last week ends the criminal chapter, but there are still pending civil lawsuits against him and a state bar investigation into two lawyers associated with the case.
The victim in the now dismissed criminal case, identified as M.S.G. in court papers, sued Bean in federal court in 2019.
Another man who accused Bean of having sex with him when he was a minor also sued Bean in federal court. Both civil lawsuits had been on hold until the criminal case was resolved. It is not clear if those cases will be dismissed.
Sean Riddell, the attorney representing both alleged victims, declined to comment.
Additionally, the Oregon State Bar is investigating Bean’s former defense lawyer Derek Ashton. The OSB opened an ethics investigation into Ashton after a prosecutor in the Bean case suggested there’s evidence Ashton helped bribe a witness. Ashton has denied wrongdoing. An OSB spokesperson said Ashton’s case remains an active and open investigation.
The OSB is also investigating former Portland attorney Lori Deveny, who once represented M.S.G.
Deveny is facing both state and federal charges for allegedly embezzling money from her clients, including settlement money Bean allegedly paid to M.S.G.