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Obama donor faces sex-abuse charges
01:31 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Terry Bean is a major Democratic donor and a celebrated gay-rights activist

A grand jury has indicted him on charges of sodomy and sexual abuse

The Portland Police Bureau Sex Crimes Unit is investigating the case

President Obama has called Bean a "great friend and supporter"

CNN  — 

A prominent supporter of President Barack Obama and co-founder of the Human Rights Campaign was arrested last week on charges of sodomy and sexual abuse related to what authorities said was an encounter with a juvenile male.

Terrence Bean, 66, a major Democratic donor and a celebrated gay-rights activist, was indicted on two felony charges of sodomy and a misdemeanor count of sexual abuse by a grand jury and arrested in Oregon Wednesday, according to a statement from the Portland Police Bureau. Bean was released later that day on bail, pending a court hearing.

Kiah Lawson, a 25-year-old identified by multiple news outlets as Bean’s ex-boyfriend, was arrested on Thursday on related charges, Portland Police confirmed. He’s also been released from jail, and pleaded not guilty on Friday, according to The Oregonian newspaper.

The charges relate to an alleged encounter the two had with a 15-year-old boy in Oregon last year, The Oregonian reported. Bean’s attorney has denied the charges and said in a statement that Bean is the “victim of an extortion ring.” CNN is not naming the alleged victim because the network does not identify minors or victims of sexual assaults.

According to a release from the Portland Police Bureau, its Sex Crimes Unit detectives are investigating the case.

Obama: A “great friend and supporter”

Bean, a real-estate developer and co-founder of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and the Human Rights Campaign, is a powerful figure in Democratic politics.

The Oregonian reported that he helped raise more than half a million dollars for Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, and Federal Election Commission records show he’s contributed thousands to Democrats, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and others.

Obama’s LGBT campaign contributors

Photos posted online