JANUARY 09, 2008
The Idaho senator who admitted soliciting sex in an airport bathroom is trying to withdraw his guilty plea by claiming that the hand signal he used to communicate a desire to engage in sex is constitutionally protected and that the undercover officer he solicited invited the conduct.
Republican Larry Craig quietly pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport last year but has vigorously tried to withdraw the plea since the shameful event became public. A Hennepin County District Judge rejected the disgraced lawmaker’s bid in October and this week Craig turned to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
If you recall, the veteran senator was busted during a broad undercover operation targeting men soliciting sex in public restrooms. Craig tapped his feet and swiped his hand under a stall divider in a way that signaled he wanted sex with the man next to him, who happened to be an undercover officer. The incident occurred in June and the senator pleaded guilty to the charges August.
In a desperate effort to clear his tainted name, Craig is now claiming that his hand signals were constitutionally protected and that no crime was committed because there weren’t multiple victims. In a brief, his attorneys argue that Minnesota’s disorderly conduct law requires that the conduct at issue have a tendency to alarm or anger others, underscoring the plural.
In this particular case, Craig’s attorneys argue, no one was ever offended. This includes the undercover officer because he invited the conduct and therefore the senator’s actions never rose to the level of being offensive, obscene, abusive, boisterous or noisy.
Most Americans don’t seem to buy that desperate argument and neither does Judicial Watch. This is why Craig made Judicial Watch’s 2007 top 10 most corrupt politicians list. He earned the crown for his bathroom escapades as well as the subsequent power play when he got busted. Craig presented police his U.S. Senate business card in an effort to avoid arrest, but it failed to intimidate officers.
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