EUGENE, Ore. (KOIN) — A lawsuit against gay rights activist Terry Bean was dismissed without prejudice on Tuesday morning.
The 66-year-old Bean and his former boyfriend, 25-year-old Kiah Lawson, were accused of sexually abusing a teen in 2013.
The alleged victim did not show up to court on Tuesday. “Mr. Bean, you’re free to go,” Lane County Judge Jay McAlpin announced.
However, because the lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice, Bean can be retried if the alleged victim decides to testify at a later time.
Lane County District Attorney Erik Hasselman expressed frustration over the case. “Let me tell you the frustration that we have. I think this result offends justice.”
“I think that we were in a position unfortunately only to be able by law to offer this young man, this youth, $5 a day and the chance to talk about embarrassing details from his past in a court of law in front of a group of strangers, and Mr. Bean offered him over $200,000 to civilly compromise this case,” Hasselman said.
“Now, if you’re this child and you have the choice between embarrassment and $5 a day, and over $200,000 for your use…it seems to be that’s going to be a highly influential factor for what you’re going to do.”
Bean released a statement after the charges were dismissed, saying “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 attorney Derek Ashton added in a statement that “this is not a happy day—it is a sad day that such a blatant conspiracy against an innocent and honorable man had to go this far and that Mr. Bean had to endure the physical, emotional, reputational and financial repercussions of this miscarriage of justice. We look forward to telling our entire story at the proper time, and exposing the truth behind the hate and malice that inspired this tragic episode.”
Last week, Ashton asked for the suit against him to be dismissed but the judge denied the request.
Lori Deveny, who represents the alleged victim, said her client “has made it perfectly clear to the prosecutor that he has no interest in pursuing either of these cases.”
She said her client was outed by the detective on the case and undermined his support system.