October 10, 2005

Coalition leader faces sex abuse allegations

The Oregonian

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Law enforcement officials said Saturday they are investigating complaints that Louis Beres, longtime chairman of the Christian Coalition of Oregon, molested three female family members when they were pre-teens.

"There is an investigation of allegations that have been made," Multnomah County District Attorney Michael Schrunk said Saturday.

The Oregonian talked to three of Beres' female relatives, including two who told reporters that he molested them. All three said they have been interviewed for several hours by detectives.

"I was molested," said one of the women, now in her early 50s. "I was victimized, and I've suffered all my life for it. I'm still afraid to be in the same room with (Beres)."

Beres, 70, whose group champions socially conservative candidates and causes, confirmed he is under investigation for alleged molestation. He blamed "personal and political enemies" for the reports and said, "I never molested anybody."

Two of the alleged molestations occurred decades ago and likely would not result in criminal charges because state law limits prosecution of certain crimes. For example, the statute of limitations on sex abuse expires after six years.

One case, however, may fall within statutory timelines, authorities confirmed. That investigation involves a female family member who was allegedly molested by Beres when she was in elementary school, authorities said.

Posted by kshaw at October 10, 2005 04:13 PM