Skip to comments.Foley could face state charges if federal case is weak
Posted on 10/06/2006 8:59:05 PM PDT by conservative in nyc
Even if former Rep. Mark Foley did not violate federal laws in sexually explicit Internet communications with underage boys, he still could find himself charged under state statutes.
Federal law generally requires a person to meet a minor for sex or at the very least, to attempt to meet, for a crime to have been committed. However, under laws in some states where the Florida Republican communicated with children, an attempt to seduce the victim might be enough for a criminal case.
Federal prosecutors investigating Foley's lurid communications are examining whether Florida authorities might be better positioned to bring criminal charges against Foley, since the state threshold for determining if a crime has been committed is less stringent than federal law, according to a senior Justice Department official who spoke Friday on condition of anonymity.
Foley resigned abruptly last week amid reports he exchanged sexually suggestive communications with teenage boys who worked as pages on Capitol Hill. While his attorney, David Roth, says his client never engaged in sexual activity with a minor, that may not matter in certain states.
E-mails and instant messages released so far indicate Foley communicated with the boys in California and Louisiana, and may have initiated those contacts from Washington, D.C. and Florida. The boys in question were all at least 16 years old at the time of the communications.
Under state law in Florida, where the age of consent is 18, a crime may have been committed if Foley is simply found to have seduced or attempted to seduce a minor. However, a reading of the law is subjective, said JoAnn Carrin, spokeswoman for the state Attorney General's office.
In reference to the term "seduce," Carrin said, "That's open to interpretation."
She declined to elaborate on how Foley's communications may have violated state law.
Jeff Harris, president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said it may come down to interpretation of exactly what Foley's intent was.
"He may have just gone to the precipice of a cliff but not jumped, which means he didn't commit a crime," Harris said. "If he's encouraging a minor to commit a sex act, I think you've crossed a legal line. Any time your talking sexually with a minor on a computer, you're flirting with an arrest."
In Louisiana, a felony crime is committed if an adult engages in sexually explicit Internet communications with anyone under 17, said Mike Johnson, a special agent with the Louisiana Attorney General's Office.
"It just has to be sexual in nature," Johnson said.
Washington, D.C. law is a bit trickier.
It is not illegal for an adult to have sexual relations with a person at least 16 years old, so long as that person is not in a position of authority over the minor. However, it is still illegal to communicate any sexually related materials to a minor, such as magazines or any printed material, which could include Internet messages, said Jack King, spokesman for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
"D.C. doesn't have any Internet related statutes regarding Internet related sexual conduct," King said.
In California, it is illegal to send sexually suggestive communications to a minor under 18, said Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
However, Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos said cases are rarely prosecuted if the adult at least doesn't attempt to meet the child.
"Words alone generally are not going to be enough to prove a crime," Geragos said. "You'd have to have some act in furtherance of the lewd talk."
Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson added: "That's often why they don't go on these cases because it's hard to prove intent given that the Internet is a world of fantasy."
He may be a slime ball but he broke no laws.
"The Federal case will be against the Democrats!! POP the POPCORN!!"
Yep...and it will include a former democrat congressmen, a former district attorney general in(a state I can not name right now),and many other nefarious characters. OHH..and an 'internet service provider'(that will blow your mind)!
The info I gathered during the last week is now in the hands of the FBI(before it was only phoned in to three different agencies in two states....lol...you will understand why at a later date). It is also in the hands of the Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert(faxed). It is in the hands of my attorney(in case I get dragged into this for finding it in open source material and some fancy lawyer wants to try and intimidate me) and trusted friends. It needs to be let out and soon. You folks be the judge! Let the American people decide!
At the very least, these actors in this larger potential conspiracy need to be hauled before a GRAND JURY...and sworn in to testify before the CONGRESS!
Every trusted individual in my life is urging me to release the info. Pretty soon..this is not going to be about Mark Foley and his despicable acts.....and if it does not get brought into these hearings on some technicality...the American people are going to demand separate Congressional Hearings when they hear this!
Folks, there are files disappearing from my computer now...emails dropping into a blackhole...hang up calls from hidden numbers (3 from DC) since I started putting this potential part of the puzzle together.
Thankfully, it has been stored elsewhere and printed out...all of the files and emails.
There are plenty of people now in the know(for you du lurkers and moles)...the story will come out and there is not going to be any way for the dems to spin this one!!
WHEWW...that felt good!
you see, the gays cant be liking this one bit... and the democrats being so happy about it should tell them something.
take care and sleep with the shotgun inder the bed. ;)
hmmmm... that may be true for the flamers but what about the closeted gays, do you think their upset?
You're listening to Brian Ross at ABC, Nancy "NAMBLA-Studs-buddy" Pelosi, CREW/Soros
Not any depositions by an attorney or info from the FBI or questioning in a criminal court or DC or other statutes regarding age of consent or fakerooed emails
But then attorneys don't usually know much about ERs either
I'm sure public school female teachers do serious time in prison
After the second or third time they violate terms of probation with a young boy
One of the most valuable things a person can learn in life is to simply say:
"I don't know anything about that"
Especially using hearsay and bogus MSM news
I've heard some say "But there were others"
"Just a joke that got out of hand and into George Soros' and Nancy Pelosi's 'hands'?"
It's quite embarrassing to look back at a thread post on FR or LU if you toss out unsubstantiated claims
Slick Willie & Hillary were turned down by MENSA
Nobody on FR is saying Mark Foley is not a homosexual or a creep
Nobody is saying you raped a girl while in college
We have no alleged "evidence" of that
Unless you are going to DUKE
I live in latte-land and I don't think there could possibly be one single gay here that is still in the closet...so, I guess I just forgot that in other parts of the country they are not all flaming, raging ......as they are here. Lol!
I don't know, maybe, but, honesty I think percentage wise there couldn't possibly be that many.
The gays wear their 'gayness' with such "pride" here and, of course, are the privileged ones to boot.
I kid you not, I've actually wondered if some straight people here don't pretend to be gay because it is so "in."
Yep. Foley's gonna walk. This is just more DBM gum-flapping to keep the story alive.
A state is going to prosecute him? In order to do that wouldn't the Congressman have to be in the jurisdiction of the state to be tried for breaking the state law? Sounds like communication over state lines is more prone to be interstate commerce. Also if the the Congressman did this in D.C wouldn't he fall under D.C. law and not the law of another state? Does anyone know where the Congressman did the deed of which he is supposed to be prosecuted in another state?
the whole thing is a BS and selective outrage anyhow.
Think about it 17 year old guy, At 17 I was bench pressing 275#'s and getting into fights at least once every 2 weeks if some dude said he wanted to play with my junk he would be in the hospital! 17year old kids and younger have faught in wars(I graduated at 17), i dont have much sympaty for these kids who if they had a problem with it never made a peep about it.
Ask the question: If YOU got an IM asking intimate questions, would you respond? Of course not.
You are correct -- he did not break any laws. And if prosecutors intend to get him on "intent" to break laws -- then I guess they also have plans to round up every single member of NAMBLA, and every Gay Proslytizing member of the NEA and... legislature. Yo, CA D-Sheila Kuhl, Carole Migden, Tom Ammiano.