Sen. Larry Craig's Lewd Conduct Plea

Update: Talking Points has the actual arrest report. The incident was on July 11, the report was entered on July 12 by someone other than the arresting officer, and then edited by the arresting officer on June 26. I wonder whether he just blacked out stuff or made changes. Since Craig pleaded guilty, he has no ability to quiz the officer on cross-examination.


Roll Call has the details from the officer's report concerning Idaho Senator Larry Craig's arrest in June on lewd conduct charges stemming from an incident in the men's bathroom at a Minnesota airport.

Sen. Craig pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct without counsel in August. He paid a fine and was put on a year's probation.

Why did he plead guilty? Was he trying to keep it from the press?

My first impression: The whole encounter sounds fishy to me. From the cop's statement that the bathroom had so many complaints it was necessary to go undercover to the ambiguous hand movements the cop ascribes to Craig. I'm having a hard time even picturing what the cop thought Craig was up to given the configuration of bathroom stalls and the cop's statement they weren't in the same one.

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...

Really strange story.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Was the police report edited? (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by magster on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 06:50:01 PM EST
    Otherwise I don't see the crime.

    On the other hand, the plea of guilty suggests something more.  The charge is also consistent with Sen. Craig's alleged train station bathroom trysts.

    We have to keep from pilin' on.  I don't want another Judge Manzaneras thing happening.

    Maybe the foot tapping was in morse code (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Maryb2004 on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 07:06:11 PM EST
    with a "lewd' message :)

    There must have been more, hence the plea deal.


    His lawyer made him plead guilty, (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 07:07:34 PM EST
    don't cha know?

    Apparently (none / 0) (#6)
    by Maryb2004 on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 07:20:51 PM EST
    he didn't have a lawyer.

    "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."



    Right you are. (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 07:28:24 PM EST
    Please note, Craig stated he has a "wide stance" whilte standing inside the stall.

    Also, please note, putting a roller bag against the door from inside the stall may be suspicious activity!!!!

    Finally, please note:

    He has been one of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's top Senate supporters, serving as a Senate liaison for the campaign since February. As word spread of Craig's guilty plea, a Romney campaign spokesman, Matt Rhoades, said in a statement: 'Senator Craig has stepped down from his role with the campaign. He did not want to be a distraction and we accept his decision.'

    I thought (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 07:49:57 PM EST
    the report said he was seated.

    Your Rollcall link: (none / 0) (#20)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 02:02:53 AM EST
    Craig stated "that he has a wide stance when going to the bathroom and that his foot may have touched mine," the report states. Craig also told the arresting officer that he reached down with his right hand to pick up a piece of paper that was on the floor.

    Best guess: yes, edited. High profile. (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 06:55:41 PM EST
    Seems to need an expert witness to establish the elements.

    After Padilla (none / 0) (#11)
    by kaleidescope on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 07:58:54 PM EST
    We must all be worried about how someone might "decode" our words and behavior.  On the other hand, I would be surprised if Craig wasn't happy that Jose Padilla was convicted.

    I don't see it either (none / 0) (#16)
    by Joe Bob on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 10:36:32 PM EST
    So, it's 'lewd conduct' to make a pass at someone? I don't see how that charge applies unless someone is actually caught in flagrante.

    At the most I could see disorderly conduct for invading the privacy of an occupied bathroom stall.


    privacy charge was dismissed (none / 0) (#17)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 10:38:18 PM EST
    Court document here. The two charges were disorderly conduct and interference with privacy. The privacy charge was dismissed.

    Is that all I have to do? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Jen M on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 07:34:23 PM EST
    Tap my foot?

    I'm waiting for some inside info (none / 0) (#1)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 06:47:38 PM EST
    on what it means for Idaho politics from mcjoan.

    She know it better than anyone.

    The avalanche of stories (none / 0) (#12)
    by andgarden on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 08:19:53 PM EST
    about the good Senator and Union Station will probably make this particular incident just seem to be part of a larger picture.

    For me, the problem is hypocrisy, for Idaho. . well, he wasn't in the ladies room.


    I'm certainly no expert but... (none / 0) (#7)
    by jerry on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 07:22:20 PM EST
    My experience has shown that individuals engaging in lewd conduct use their bags to block the view from the front of their stall,

    This has me worried -- I DO THIS -- where else do you place the damned roller bag!?

    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,"

    You stick your foot within my stall, expect to have it stomped on.  Worse, I think I'll ... onto the top of your shoe.

    Now, I think the cop should have had some sort of phone cam, and I would be very happy with arresting almost any SOB that can't keep their foot on their side of the stall.

    Will he have to Register? (none / 0) (#13)
    by allwrits on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 08:19:58 PM EST
    A real interesting question is whether he will be ordered to register as a sex offender. The Adam Walsh Act, through a process of sticks and carrots is forcing various state level modifications to Megan's law registration.  Specifically, sec. 111 of the Adam Walsh Act designates "a criminal offense that has an element involving a sexual act or sexual contact with another."  The act at issue here would appear to qualify, however the news story lacks the specificity necessary to make a positive determination that he will in fact have to register.

    The offense of conviction (none / 0) (#22)
    by Deconstructionist on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 09:52:14 AM EST
    has no element involving a sexual act or sexual contact.

    Didnt consult lawyer after two months? (none / 0) (#14)
    by zAmboni on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 09:38:03 PM EST
    I have a hard time believing that he was arrested in June, and then let two months pass without consulting a lawyer before pleading guilty in August.

    One thing in the police report that I am confused by is this: 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."

    From the way it sounds, Craig was in the stall to the officer's left but when Craig reached under the stall it appeared to be Craig's left hand (Gold ring on his ring finger). I am assuming that was his wedding ring on his left hand....unless he had it on his right hand (I have no friggin clue...that may also be a sign that a person is open to gay sex).

    Assuming it was on his left hand he would be seated reaching across his body and swiping underneath the stall to his right. That action sounds to be a bit uncomfortable.

    It was his left hand (none / 0) (#15)
    by zAmboni on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 09:44:31 PM EST
    TPM has a copy of the arrest report up:

    The Court plea document is up too (none / 0) (#18)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 10:38:47 PM EST
    on ABC, here

    Correction needed (none / 0) (#19)
    by Joe Bob on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 10:44:58 PM EST
    According to this story, while police were investigating lewd conduct, Craig plead to misdemeanor disorderly conduct, not lewd conduct.

    IANAL, but I believe "lewd conduct" is an entirely different offense typified by such conduct as exposure, public sex, prostitution, etc....depending on the jurisdiction.

    just a thought... (none / 0) (#21)
    by Deconstructionist on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 08:43:50 AM EST
    "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."

      Were I Officer Karsnia I might complain my talents were being squandered when rather than apprehending terrorists, my detail involves becoming "experienced" in the positioning of luggage to promote lewd behavior and,  it seems, an inordinate amount of  sitting on a toilet inviting propositions. not everyone can be in the FBI and airport rent-a-cops are needed but I'd imagine even the other rent-a-cops must make fun of him.