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."
Note that this article only discusses the legal aspects of what Foley did. Regardless of what the law says, the Congressman is still a slimeball for sending sex-tinged IMs to minors.
The Federal case will be against the Democrats!! POP the POPCORN!!
I have yet to read any news article on this Foley case where it is shown a crime has taken place.
If saying a few few off-colored words or sending a few risque messages was illegal, half of MySpace's 100 million users would be in jail.
It seems odd that all these leftists, who are constantly blathering about gay rights, are desperately seeking to persecute Foley for being gay.
I wonder what their homosexual base make of all this?
Would you feel the same way if he was straight and sent lurid IM's to an 18 year old female?
Do you think that doesn't happen every day?
Does Barney Frank use a computer? Oh, never mind, he's a DEM.
To judge by comments on Huffington Post, gays aren't liking this at all.
Where do I complain about all of the men around the world who have used Yahoo messenger to wave their penises in front of their webcams. Can I say I am young at heart?
He is a slimeball, sick, an idiot. But IF the pages were above the age of consent, and IF they were yanking his chain (in a manner of speaking) is there really a justification to be on a headlong search for some way to prosecute him? I like to see people prosecuted for actual crimes, not the latest news cycle.
Well, Andrew Sullivan by all appearances doesn't seem too happy.
The Dems seem to have insulted members of their own base, insulted social conservatives in this blatant attempt to depress their vote and attack their "leaders" and...they didn't get Hastert's head nor any guarentee they'll take Foley's seat.
I'm trying to see where their net gain here is, and I'm not finding it.
it wouldn't be on the news 24-7 like this case is if it was herto thing(no shock factor)
Did any of this happen in Florida or was it only from DC?
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.
David Corn is going to out all the GAY Republican staffers!!!
WAKE UP!!! Tell us more so other freepers can help out even more! I didn't understand why it would envelope a former Dem member and an asst dist. atty.....are we on the wrong track with zeroing in on the Katsaros's and Soros??
check out post #22!!!!
I've heard that about David Corn's List. Do you know when and where it will be made public?
"take care and sleep with the shotgun inder the bed. ;)"
"I didn't understand why it would envelope a former Dem member and an asst dist. atty.....are we on the wrong track with zeroing in on the Katsaros's and Soros??"
I would not say that at all..look at how much relevant info freepers and bloggers have turned up already!! It is phenomenal! You guys have been getting to the immediate questions..like who are the actors, who knew and when, etc....that is important stuff. I just went in a different direction and turned up some disturbing info that may or may not have anything to do with this case, but when the American people find out about it....the normal ones are NOT GOING TO WANT TO VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT FOR A VERY LONG TIME!!
Sometimes if we always shout 'SOROS' (even though he is involved) we start to sound like we blame everything on a left wing conspiracy(even though there is one). It just makes sense to go after the small and medium fish first. Often when they get hauled into a grand jury..they will spill the beans.
Thanks for the tip - hadn't seen it. All power to Penelope...
Tell us more....what names?? Just give us the former Dem. Cong. name.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.