Tuesday, August 4, 2015

With a vanished "victim" was the Terry Bean matter a setup for extortion?

Gay rights pioneer Terry Bean and his ex-partner, Kiah Lawson,  were accused in 2013 of hooking up with a 15-year-old through Grindr and then knowingly having sex with a minor.

The youth, now 17, cannot be located which means that the criminal charges are likely to be dismissed. Christian conservatives who were delighted by Bean's arrest will probably claim that Bean paid off the kid to get lost. The prospect of answering some tough questions under cross-examination under oath in open court is more likely yo have caused him to reconsider things. We might never know for sure.

However, some aspects of this case never made sense.

Grindr is quite clear that it is restricted to persons at least 18-years-old (21 in those places where required for majority). Therefore, the initial assumption is that the user is an adult. So from the outset there was deception. Why would a 15-year-old even want to have sex with someone in his sixties? What drove the kid to make a criminal complaint? The prospect of a payday is the obvious answer.

At the time, John Aravosis wrote about the criminal record of Mr. Lawson. According to Aravosis it was Lawson who was responsible for the criminal complaint and providing the police with the teen's telephone number. Yet Lawson is still a defendant in this matter. It does not seem far-fetched to suggest that Lawson orchestrated this entire affair.

Bean has been relatively silent about all of this (he had a Facebook page denying everything which has been taken down). I am hoping that, at some point, he will set the record straight.

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