Craig argues today to reverse plea in bathroom sex case

  • Article by: Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 10, 2008 - 7:54 AM

Arguments are scheduled in the appeal of the senator's disorderly conduct conviction for pursuing anonymous sex in a Minneapolis airport bathroom.

Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, listened to President Bush as he spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 7.

Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Associated Press

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Arguments are scheduled for this morning in the appeal of U.S. Sen. Larry Craig's disorderly conduct conviction for pursuing anonymous sex in an airport bathroom.

The case will be heard in St. Paul by Court of Appeals Judges Thomas Kalitowski, Natalie Hudson and Louise Bjorkman.

The judges generally take cases under advisement and issue written rulings within weeks.

Craig is asking to withdraw his guilty plea in the case stemming from his arrest in the summer of 2007 in a men's room at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Hennepin County District Judge Charles Porter already has rejected Craig's request to withdraw the plea.

Craig, a Republican senator from Idaho, was arrested as part of a sweep targeting solicitation in a men's bathroom at the airport. Police said Craig was arrested after he peered into a stall, entered the stall next to an undercover officer and then tapped his feet and swiped his hand under the divider, allegedly signaling a desire for sex.

Craig pleaded guilty by mail. After the arrest became public, Craig said his actions were misinterpreted and that he is not gay. He then attempted to withdraw his plea.

Prosecutors have maintained that Craig's plea was entered voluntarily. The defense wants the judges to correct a "manifest injustice" by overturning the plea.

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