Portland, Ore., Nov 25, 2014 / 00:02 am
A founder of the Human Rights Campaign, an influential gay advocacy group that has begun targeting Catholic bishops for protests, has been arrested for alleged sexual abuse of a teen boy in Oregon.
Terrence Patrick Bean, 66, was indicted on two felony counts of third-degree sodomy and one misdemeanor count of third-degree sex abuse related to an alleged sexual encounter in Eugene, Ore. with a 15-year-old boy in 2013, the newspaper The Oregonian reports.
Kiah Lawson, a 25-year-old reported to be an ex-boyfriend of Bean, was also indicted on the same charges. Both had met the teen through a homosexual dating app, CNN reports.
Lawson had allegedly found that Bean had been surreptitiously videotaping his sexual encounters with Lawson and at least six other men. Lawson and his then-lawyer and demanded about $40,000 in alleged damages in return for screenshots of some of the videos.
Bean went to police alleging that he was being extorted, prompting the investigation that led to charges against both men.
Jeffrey Dickey, who served as Lawson's lawyer, objected to charges against his client, saying Lawson had helped authorities find the teen.
Kristen Winemiller, Bean's lawyer, said that her client is cooperating with the investigation and was "the victim of an extortion ring." The charges against him should not be taken "at face value," she said.
Detectives in Portland's Sex Crime Unit are leading the case in cooperation with district attorneys' offices in Clackamas and Lane counties.
Bean is a co-founder of the Human Rights Campaign and of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. He has been a major fundraiser for Democratic Party candidates, including President Barack Obama, the Oregonian reported.
The Human Rights Campaign said that Bean is one of 80 board members of the organization and has no daily oversight or responsibility for its programs. He has taken a voluntary leave of absence from the board "until his issues are resolved," a spokesman told CNN.
In late 2014, the Human Rights Campaign began a publicity effort against eight "outspoken" Catholic bishops in the U.S. in hopes of changing Catholic practice and moral doctrine. The activism was related to the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family, which the campaign saw as "the opportunity to create a precedent for change."
The organization has many corporate partners in its LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) activism. It has lobbied businesses to push for "LGBT equality" in legislation and corporate policy, to recruit self-identified LGBT employees and to give financial support for LGBT organizations through LGBT-targeted marketing or advertising and philanthropic support.