ABC News is reporting that Florida law enforcement officials are building a possible case against disgraced former Rep. Mark “measure it for me” Foley (R-FL) for sending lewd messages to minors on the internet. The decision on whether to bring charges is said to be a month away and will depend on the testimony of the former congressional pages who received the messages.
Federal charges have not been possible because actual sexual contact with a minor was never proven. The age of consent in Washington, DC is 16. However, Foley apparently sent at least some messages from Pensacola, in violation of Florida’s very strict internet predators law. Foley has resurfaced in Palm Beach after spending time in Arizona “rehab” for his drinking problem and his supposed own childhood molestation issues.
Foley is definitely a creep and an embarassment to gay people. Still, I’m of mixed opinion on these possible charges. It seems like 16 and 17 year old boys should be able to fend for themselves on the internet and that law enforcement should focus on the scumbags that target kids less able to protect themselves. On the other hand, the super-high visibilty of the Foley case could serve to give all potential child predators pause. What do you think?