Arguments Heard in Appeal of Larry Craig Bathroom Sting Conviction

The Minnesota Court of Appeals today heard oral arguments in Sen. Larry Craig's appeal of the denial of his motion to vacate his guilty plea for foot-tapping in an airport bathroom stall to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

The attorney, Billy Martin, told the three-judge panel that Craig's behavior was "as consistent with innocence as it is with guilt."


Martin refuted the conclusions of an undercover police officer conducting a sting of men cruising for gay sex. The officer said Craig peered inside his stall, tapped a foot next to his and swiped a hand beneath the divider - all invitations for a desired sexual encounter.

Craig's fidgety behavior, Martin said, was merely reflective of a man "anxious to go to the bathroom." He attacked the disorderly conduct law, saying it requires "others" to be affected and not just one person.

Martin was asked about Craig's mail-in agreement to plead guilty.

[Martin] said a judge should have determined whether there was a sufficient basis for arrest before permitting the senator to enter the plea.

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    Good luck, Larry. (none / 0) (#1)
    by scribe on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 12:08:08 PM EST
    In the meantime:  "tap, tap, tap.  Anyone in there?"

    Yeah.... (none / 0) (#2)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 12:11:33 PM EST
    I wish him luck as well, I don't think he committed a crime and the whole thing stinks of entrapment.

    Crooked congressional sob?...Probably.

    Sex criminal?...No effin way.



    Well, he didn't plead (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by eric on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 12:17:52 PM EST
    to a sex crime, just disorderly.  They hand those out like candy.

    Anyway, it really isn't entrapment, either, as that requires that the cop induced him to commit an offense that he would not otherwise have committed.  Here, Craig's defense is that he didn't do anything that was illegal.  Just a mistake, he says.


    True.... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 12:28:14 PM EST
    he pleaded to disorderly under the mistaken impression it would keep the sex angle under wraps.  The old standby "plead to a lesser charge" that the state uses all the time to get inncocent people to plead guilty out of convenience.

    I know what his defense for the sake of the public is...I'm speculating that the sex-narc led him on which led to the tapdance and yada yada yada.


    Thanks. (none / 0) (#3)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 12:13:02 PM EST
    I appreciate that.

    And I agree -- the whole thing is silly.


    LOL! (none / 0) (#8)
    by jerry on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 01:14:19 PM EST
    Craig has to prove judge abused his discretion (none / 0) (#6)
    by befuddledvoter on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 12:34:55 PM EST
    in denying the motion to withdraw his plea.  

    Craig's lawyers will have to argue that Porter abused his discretion in denying Craig's motion to withdraw his guilty plea.

    According to the Minnesota Court of Appeals Standards of Review, "[T]he `ultimate decision' of whether to allow withdrawal under the `fair and just' standard is `left to the sound discretion of the trial court, and it will be reversed only in the rare case in which the appellate court can fairly conclude that the trial court abused its discretion.'"  

    From the excerpts I have seen, sounded like attorney was trying to prove that the trial judge's fact finding was flawed.  Hence, the basis for abuse of discretion?  Abuse of discretion is a very high standard to overcome.  

    Oral. Craig. Giggle. (none / 0) (#7)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 12:44:28 PM EST
    The Minnesota Court of Appeals today heard oral arguments

    I just hope he stays away (none / 0) (#9)
    by barbarajmay on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 01:29:13 PM EST
    As a MN defense attorney, the charge bothers me, but as the mom of a 12 year old son, I hope the conviction stands and makes him stay the heck out of Minnesota airport bathrooms.

    Yes, and the way (none / 0) (#11)
    by eric on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 02:45:05 PM EST
    they are admitting evidence of other, similar, acts these days in Minnesota, it would be a circus.  All of those other incidents that have come to light would probably be fair game.

    when... (none / 0) (#12)
    by dws3665 on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 04:47:14 PM EST
    being a hypocritical, self-loathing, closet-dwelling bigot becomes a crime, then it will be time to go after Larry Craig with both barrels. As a crime, however, what he is accused of is just silly.

    The irony is, of course, that his actions as a public official have underscored his own need to live a life of sexual subterfuge.