Craig Guilty Plea Upheld; Court Backs Public Restroom Privacy


The right to privacy and to be left alone in a public restroom stall is “very strong,” the Minnesota Court of Appeals said in rejecting U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s attempt to withdraw his 2007 guilty plea to disorderly conduct in an airport men’s bathroom sex sting, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Craig (R-ID), said he is innocent, disappointed, and might appeal. Craig was arrested in June 2007 in a sting operation at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. An undercover officer said Craig tapped his foot and waved his hand under a stall divider, behavior indicative of an interest in a sexual encounter.

The court dismissed Craig’s arguments that the disorderly conduct statute was too broad and that his mail-in guilty plea was insufficient to sustain a conviction. Even if Craig’s “foot-tapping and the movement of his foot toward the undercover officer’s stall are considered speech,” as Craig argued, the court said “they would be intrusive speech directed at a captive audience and the government may prohibit them.”


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