Larry Craig Case Dealt With More Harshly Than Some

LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – The New York Times reports that the airport men’s room where Senator Larry E. Craig was arrested here in a police sting operation is in one of the busiest areas of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, at the intersection of five concourses and near a bustling mall and food court.

Mr. Craig passed through the terminal regularly as he traveled between his home district in Boise, Idaho, and his Congressional offices in Washington.

The details of his arrest shocked his colleagues and constituents, but he was not the only person ensnarled in the airport police enforcement action against what the authorities said was lewd conduct in the restroom. Thirty-nine other men were arrested here in a three-month period this summer.

A review of their cases and interviews with four lawyers representing many of the accused show how Mr. Craig — who pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct but now says he is innocent — fits into the larger picture of the sting operation, and sheds light on his prospects in court should he be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea.

Police and court files indicate that Mr. Craig’s case may have been handled more harshly than some of the others. For instance, he alone among the 40 men arrested was charged with both disorderly conduct and interference with privacy. The other men were charged with one or the other, or with indecent exposure or loitering.

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