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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Craig Makes Second Bid to Withdraw Guilty Plea Over Bathroom Sting

Craig Makes Second Bid to Withdraw Guilty Plea Over Bathroom Sting

Posted by Dan Slater
Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, takes the oath of office during a mock swearing in ceremony in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 7, 2003. (AP/Evan Vucci)
Last time we delved into the story of U.S. Senator Larry Craig, a Minnesota judge had rejected Craig’s bid to withdraw his guilty plea stemming from a sex sting arrest in a Minneapolis airport bathroom. Judge Charles Porter, a member of the Law Blog Moustache Society, found Craig had entered the guilty plea “accurately, voluntarily and intelligently” and that it was too late to withdraw his admission.
Lawyers for the Idaho Republican gave it another shot at the state Court of Appeals. According to a report in the Star Tribune, his lawyer, Billy Martin, argued to a three-judge panel that the case against Craig fails to show he participated in criminal conduct.First, a Larry Craig Refresher: Craig was caught in June, 2007, by Sgt. Dave Karsnia in a sting operation at the airport. Karsnia was in a stall and said Craig peered in for more than two minutes from three feet away. When the next stall opened, Craig went in and then tapped his foot and waved his hand under the stall - behavior indicative of an interest in a sexual encounter, the complaint said.
Today, the panel reportedly gave Martin some push-back. When Martin talked about how Craig used a mail-in plea form rather than appear in person and lost a chance for an on-the-record discussion before the court about the charge against him, one of the judges asked, “didn’t [Craig] waive the right to a colloquy when he signed the form?”
Martin said he did but he did not waive the legal right that the complaint against him be adequate. He also argued that Craig’s behavior didn’t meet the standard for disorderly conduct because the law requires behavior to affect “others.”
Martin said Craig was responding to Karsnia’s hand swiping and the senator’s behavior “was invited conduct.” Also, he was merely standing in front of a door waiting for a stall to open and that behavior “has not tipped the balance to guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.” Martin said the judges “shouldn’t have to guess” what was happening from an inadequate record.
In response, prosecutor Chris Renz said the plea should be allowed to stand because Craig failed to show a “lack of adequate judicial review.” He argued that by using the mail-in plea, Craig waived his rights to appear and question the evidence.


Evan said...

Interesting One!
Life Style Rescue

Erna Mae said...

Thanks for the post...Very informative and I will surely recommend and share it to my friends and relatives.

Robert Half Legal

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