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October 02, 2006



What are you going to punish him for?

Teenagers are not children. The law says as much in almost all countries where age of consent is typically 14-16. The indidividual states as well have lower ages of consent than the federal govt uses to define a “minor” for internet/telephone contact. Even in DC, age of consent is 16.

In fact Foley did not commit a crime, because the age of consent in the jurisdiction is 16. Federal solicitation charges depend on the laws of the jurisdiction. There's no indication that he offered to pay for sex. Sexual harassment is also an unlikely charge because the page in question was not in his emply.

B Tween

First, on the matter of the age of consent in other countries... haven't we established in the highest court in the land that the laws of other nations have no relevance in this country? Any good conservative will reference that latin american vitamin case of last year as proof. So, who cares what other countries consider the age of consent. In this country, the federal age of consent is 18.

Nonetheless, the question of age of consent relative to jurisdiction is still one that's being debated - because no one knows if the internet has anything but federal jurisdiction per se, so as far as I know, federal laws apply. I haven't taken a relevant law class in years, but I seem to recall something like People of TN vs. Amateur Action BBS from years ago, that set the precedent for the application of interstate commerce laws related to internet sex matters.
Also, nobody's (yet) suggesting he solicited sex in a commercial context, that I'm aware of. But if you've read the text of his IM conversations, he did work awfully hard to engage a minor in cybersex. And given that he knew these children personally, and also given the power of his position over them as pages, the stake they had in his good will, he's no better than any pervert offering candy to 6 year olds from his car. Have you seen my puppy?

You might note that in my first post on this matter, I *did* address the reality that these were young men, not boys, and that they are old enough to take care of themselves, etc.

But do you think this short-eyes scumbag, the very author of the legislation he should be charged under, would be as forgiving?

If you were in his chair, anonymous, so charged, I feel pretty confident saying Mark Foley would have offered you no quarter.

The depth of his hypocrisy strips him of any "aww but they weren't 9 year olds" consideration. The symbolic import of his position and the symbolic import of his crime should lead to a symbolic sentence.

The law he wrote is, after all, the law.

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