ST. PAUL, Minn. – Seeking to have his guilty plea in a bathroom sex sting erased, Idaho Sen. Larry Craig's attorneys argue in a new court filing that the underlying act wasn't criminal because it didn't involve multiple victims.
An appeals brief filed Tuesday contends that Minnesota's disorderly conduct law "requires that the conduct at issue have a tendency to alarm or anger 'others"' — underscoring the plural nature of the term.
Craig's brief goes on to cite other convictions that were overturned because the multiple-victim test wasn't met. His lawyers apply the same logic to his case.
The Republican senator pleaded guilty in August after his arrest two months earlier at the Minneapolis airport. It was part of a broader undercover push targeting men soliciting sex in public restrooms.
"Appellant's alleged conduct in this case affected only a single individual — Sergeant (David) Karsnia," the brief says, naming the arresting officer. "It did not — and could not affect 'others' as the disorderly conduct statute requires, and therefore, does not satisfy that element of the statute."
Craig has said his actions were misconstrued and his guilty plea a mistake. His attempt to withdraw the plea was turned down by a district court judge, and the case is now before the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
Craig has said he will finish his term, which ends in January 2009.