Wednesday, October 18, 2006

not till i'm 18: foley had sex with "barely legal" pages

via tpm muckraker and abc's brian ross, the latest on the fbi's investigation of mark foley:

After interviewing some 40 former congressional pages, FBI agents have yet to turn up any evidence of direct sexual contact between underage pages and former Congressman Mark Foley.

Instead, according to law enforcement officials and several former pages, a pattern is emerging of seduction by Foley that began when the boys were 16 and 17. In cases where actual sex followed, it was not until the boys were at the legal age of 18.

"He spotted me when I was a page and set the hook while I was still in high school," one former page told ABC News. "He didn't reel me in until he showed up at my college campus on a congressional visit. We had sex," said the page, who has been interviewed by the FBI.

(of course, this is pretty much what i said two weeks ago:

now we know what foley's attorney meant when he said foley "never attempted to have sexual contact with a minor"—foley sexed them up online while they were underage, but waited until they were 18 before he actually had sex with them. still illegal, but not as illegal as sexual contact when they were still 16 or 17.

but i hate it when bloggers say things like "the fbi agrees with me that...", as if the fbi gives a toss what some jackass blogger says.)

but even if foley always waited until the pages were "legal" before physically getting jiggy with them, foley could still be indicted for all that cybersex he had while the pages were still underage:

Former prosecutors and FBI agents who have worked on similar cases say, depending on the prosecutor, the instant messages contain more than enough material to bring a charge of soliciting sex over the Internet.

"I know some that would have him arrested tomorrow, and there are others who would seek actual contact," said former FBI agent Brad Garrett, now an ABC News consultant.

meanwhile, DoJ and the house ethics committee are now investigating allegations about a second republican congressman, jim kolbe of arizona:

The House committee looking into allegations that former congressman Mark Foley (R-Fla.) had improper contact with male former pages has been asked by lawmakers overseeing the page program to look into allegations involving a second lawmaker, House sources said yesterday.

Members of the Page Board sought the review after news reports last week that the Justice Department had opened a preliminary inquiry into a camping trip that Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) took with male former pages in 1996.

... The Washington Post has learned of a potentially inappropriate incident involving Kolbe and a male page. The man recently told the House clerk's office and the FBI about an encounter with the Arizona Republican that occurred about five years ago when he was 16, according to someone familiar with the man's account. The page told authorities that he was "uncomfortable with a particular social encounter" that involved physical contact when he and Kolbe were alone, the source said yesterday.

The event that captured the Page Board's attention was a camping trip that Kolbe took with two former pages and others in 1996, an outing first reported by NBC News and now under review by the Justice Department. One law enforcement official cautioned that the inquiry is based on allegations from an unidentified source that have not been substantiated. The allegations involve Kolbe's behavior toward one of the former pages, the official said.

there's lots of juicy detail in the full washington post article; if i quoted all the intriguing bits i would end up quoting half if not two thirds of the article.

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