Family Values 

Former Oregon Christian Coalition Leader Confesses to Molesting Relatives

Lou Beres, former executive director of the Oregon Christian Coalition and former chair of the Multnomah County Republican Party, confessed to police that he has sexually touched underage girls—including a young sister-in-law, according to a Gresham Police report dated September 13, 2005, and first obtained by gayrightswatch.com on Monday, August 14.

Allegations against Beres surfaced last fall, when three of his female relatives—two daughters and a sister-in-law—contacted the Child Abuse Hotline. The allegations were investigated, but no charges were filed; the statute of limitations had passed, the Multnomah County district attorney explained.

At the time, Beres publicly denied any "criminal conduct," and told the Oregonian, "I never molested anybody."

But the police report, by Gresham Detectives Lee Gosson and Mike McGowan—who did not return a call on Tuesday—says Beres admitted on September 28, 2005 that he had "'sinned' in the past." He attributed his behavior to "experiencing a great deal of stress at the time... he was millions of dollars in debt and facing bankruptcy," the report said.

The report also stated Beres subsequently confessed to Detective McGowan over the phone on October 7, admitting he had sexually touched his sister-in-law in the 1960s when she was a teen, and two friends of his daughters—one incident was in 1976 or '77, according to the report, and the other was unspecified.

One of Beres' victims—sister-in-law Elizabeth Jonas, who is now in her 50s—filed a civil case against Beres in Multnomah County Court on March 9, 2006 seeking $2 million in damages. On July 26, Beres asked for summary judgment dismissing the case with prejudice.

According to the Gresham Police report, Jonas was six years old when her sister married Beres in the 1950s, and she babysat the Beres' children as a teenager. She recalls an incident where she was sleeping on the couch at the Beres home, when Lou Beres came into the living room in his underwear, and "began to kiss her on the mouth and 'lick' her all over," and touch her sexually, the report says.

According to the report, Jonas says Beres "came to her 'spiritually' some time in 1996 and told her he was 'delivered now' and apologized for what he had done," and she told the detectives she "wanted to see the family acknowledge and admit what Mr. Beres had done and get help." She also wanted to make sure Beres' granddaughters were safe.

Attempts to reach Jonas or her attorney, Randall Vogt, were unsuccessful by press time.

"There wouldn't be a civil case if Beres had confessed [earlier] and tried to make amends," says Beres' nephew, Richard Galat. "But he has been so aggressive, this was the only way forward for our family."

Beres, who answered the phone at his home, referred us to his attorney, John Kaempf. Kaempf did not return calls by press time.

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