Senator Larry Craig arrested back in June for alleged lewd conduct in men’s restroom

Via the Associated Press:

MINNEAPOLIS – Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho pleaded guilty this month to misdemeanor disorderly conduct after being arrested at the Minneapolis airport.

A Hennepin County court docket showed Craig pleading guilty to the disorderly conduct charge Aug. 8, with the court dismissing a charge of gross misdemeanor interference to privacy.

The court docket said the Republican senator was fined $1,000, plus $575 in fees. He was put on unsupervised probation for a year. A sentence of 10 days in the county workhouse was stayed.

Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, which first reported the case, said on its Web site Monday that Craig was arrested June 11 by a plainclothes officer investigating complaints of lewd conduct in a men’s restroom at the airport.

Craig said in a statement issued by his office that he was not involved in any inappropriate conduct.

“At the time of this incident, I complained to the police that they were misconstruing my actions,” he said. “I should have had the advice of counsel in resolving this matter. In hindsight, I should not have pled guilty. I was trying to handle this matter myself quickly and expeditiously.”

Craig, 62, is married and in his third term in the Senate. He is up for re-election next year. He was a member of the House for 10 years before winning election to the Senate in 1990.

The Roll Call story was reprinted at Free Republic:

According to the incident report, Sgt. Dave Karsnia was working as a plainclothes officer on June 11 investigating civilian complaints regarding sexual activity in the men’s public restroom in which Craig was arrested.

Airport police previously had made numerous arrests in the men’s restroom of the Northstar Crossing in the Lindbergh Terminal in connection with sexual activity.

Karsnia entered the bathroom at noon that day and about 13 minutes after taking a seat in a stall, he stated he could see “an older white male with grey hair standing outside my stall.”

The man, who lingered in front of the stall for two minutes, was later identified as Craig.

“I could see Craig look through the crack in the door from his position. Craig would look down at his hands, ‘fidget’ with his fingers, and then look through the crack into my stall again. Craig would repeat this cycle for about two minutes” the report states.

Craig then entered the stall next to Karsnia’s and placed his roller bag against the front of the stall door.

“My experience has shown that individuals engaging in lewd conduct use their bags to block the view from the front of their stall” Karsnia stated in his report. “From my seated position, I could observe the shoes and ankles of Craig seated to the left of me.”

Craig was wearing dress pants with black dress shoes.

“At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot. I moved my foot up and down slowly. While this was occurring, the male in the stall to my right was still present. I could hear several unknown persons in the restroom that appeared to use the restroom for its intended use. The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area” the report states.

Craig then proceeded to swipe his hand under the stall divider several times, and Karsnia noted in his report that “I could … see Craig had a gold ring on his ring finger as his hand was on my side of the stall divider.”

Karsnia then held his police identification down by the floor so that Craig could see it.

“With my left hand near the floor, I pointed towards the exit. Craig responded, ‘No!’ I again pointed towards the exit. Craig exited the stall with his roller bags without flushing the toilet. … Craig said he would not go. I told Craig that he was under arrest, he had to go, and that I didn’t want to make a scene. Craig then left the restroom.”

First things first: Why wasn’t the story picked up back in June when the alleged incident was reported to have taken place? The guy’s a Republican, so it would only stand to reason that we should have already heard about this. The MSM dropped the ball on this one.

Second, Craig, when he was an unmarried Representative, had to deny soliciting for sex from male pages back in the early 80s. Where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire, methinks, and I’m convinced that yes, Craig is gay. I don’t know much about Idaho’s political leanings (I assume they are conservative), but the honest thing to have done would be for Craig to have come out of the closet when he figured out he was gay, rather than deceive his family and the public for years. Eventually, it’s going to catch up with you, and so many people are going to be hurt and feel betrayed.

Third, how disappointing, the two things that are at play here: the fact that in all probability he’s cheated on his wife – or at least attempted to, and on top of that he, according to the police officer in question, solicited for sex in a men’s restroom. The man not only has a wife, but kids and grandkids. What the hell was he thinking? Only of himself, apparently.

Back last October, when the Foley scandal was kicking into high gear, I wrote about attempts by despicable serial outer Mike Rogers to out Larry Craig, and it’s a post I think is worth re-reading in light of all this in terms of the ‘gay’ aspect of the story (not the crime part). There was an interesting discussion in the comments section of that post that is worth reading again as well.

That Craig has turned out to be gay after all in and of itself doesn’t bother me from a legislative perspective, because you can be gay and vote in favor of things like the DOMA, just like you can be black and vote against affirmative action, and just like you can be a woman and vote against abortion – unlike the left, who believes that minorities who don’t vote the way “they’re supposed to” are traitors to their very beings. It’s the personal aspect of this that is bothersome – the deception, the lies, the adultery, the criminal nature of what he was arrested for back in June (is that the tip of the iceberg on Craig’s adulterous behavior?). He’s married. He’s broken his vows of marriage. He hasn’t been practicing what he preaches. He’s deceived his constituency. That’s what’s bothersome.

As I’ve said before, just because people who preach about family values sometimes fall from grace, that doesn’t negate the message itself. But it sure as hell does make it a whole lot more difficult to sell.

This story is getting a ton of play in the blogosphere, as you can imagine. The far left are doing their usual ‘hypocrisy’ chants all in unison, while there is a mixture of reactions from the right, ranging from exasperation – ‘here we go again’ with another Republican sex scandal, to the ‘good riddance’ variety because Craig, after all, supported “shamnesty” – so that means, I guess, that it’s good that this happened, because a “shamnesty” supporter like Craig is no good for the GOP, lewd conduct in the bathroom or not.

Update: The political fall out starts, while David Freddoso at NRO’s The Corner blog speculates on what could be next for Craig’s Senate seat, assuming he steps down.

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