FindLaw: Minnesota v. Larry Craig (Idaho Senator Charged with Peeping and Disorderly Conduct in Airport Restroom

 
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Idaho Senator's Charges of Peeping and Disorderly Conduct
in a Minnesota Airport Mens’ Room
Sen. Larry Craig’s Criminal Charges

July 2, 2007

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Lawyers
  • Hennepin County Attorney’s Office
  • Criminal Defense Lawyers

  • Related Links:
  • Judge's Refusal To Revoke Plea
  • Senator Craig's Plea Agreement
  • Craig jokingly sings to Paul Shaffer:
       - “I can dodge the press!”
  • What is Disorderly Conduct?
  • Sen. Craig's Official Statement
  • Fla. State Senator's Solicitation Charges
  • Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig,(inset, left), the Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, was arrested on ‘peeping’ and disorderly conduct charges based on allegations from an undercover police officer who was "investigating allegations of sexual conduct in the public bathroom" at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport.

    According to the charges, Senator Craig initially stood outside a bathroom stall occupied by the officer, and then "look[ed] through the crack between the stall door and its frame into the stall that Sergeant Karsnia was occupaying," repeatedly "gazing into the stall" over a period of roughly two minutes. Craig allegedly "peered long enough" that the officer could “observe that the Defendant had blue eyes.”

    After entering a bathroom stall next to the undercover officer’s, Craig allegedly moved his right foot from his own stall into the officer’s stall where he allegedly “touched Sergeant Karsnia's left foot” Next, the Idaho Senator was accused of swiping his hand under the bathroom stall divider three times with his palm up, moving it back and forth. The officer alleged that he "observed a gold ring" on the ring finder of Craig’s left hand.

    Approximately six (6) minutes after he first observed Craig allegedly peeping into his stall, followed by the bathroom stall encounter, the officer reported showed Senator Craig “his police identification under the stall,” and Craig allegedly “exclaimed 'No!'”

    As frequently happens in criminal cases, Senator Craig ultimately chose to plead guilty in order to settle the charges. He opted to represent himself (i.e., on a pro se basis), without the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. In his plea, Craig admitted guilt only to the misdemeanor offense of disorderly conduct, paid $575, and was placed on probation.

    In his defense, the Idaho Senator relatesed a statement contendng that "[a]t the time of this incident, I complained to the police that they were misconstruing my actions. I was not involved in any inappropriate conduct. I should have had the advice of counsel in resolving this matter. In hindsight, I should not have pled guilty.”

    In 1982 when he was a Republican U.S. Congressman representing Idaho, Larry Craig issued a public denial against having improprieties with Congressional Pages. According to an ABC News investigation by reporter Carol Simpson at the time, “the names of Congressman alleged to be involved in the scandal have remained secret, but Idaho Congressman Larry Craig, concerned that his name had been implicated, issued a public denial:”

    As this YouTube video shows, Craig’s public statements about the Congressional Page scandal included telling constituents that “persons who are unmarried as I am, by choice or by circumstance, have always been the subject of innuendos, gossip, and false accusations. I think this is despicable.”

    ABC’s report followed the FBI’s interview with a then 20-year-old former Congressional Page who disclosed that the FBI interviewed him for two hours about allegations that members of Congress shared sex and drugs with Congressional pages in 1979.

    According to Craig’s Senate website, he is now married to the former Suzanne Thompson, has three children, and nine grandchildren. Craig’s office says that he is "one of America's foremost defenders of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms."


    Photos: Senator Craig’s Office
    Note: Partial redactions and document highlights by FindLaw
     
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