Farcical American justice does it again: " ... One incident in particular caught the eye of investigators, they said. While campaigning for a Senate seat in 2003, Foley sent online messages to a male teenager describing sexual acts, a clear violation of the state’s law on Internet sex predators. The law states 'any person who knowingly utilizes a computer online service or Internet service to seduce, solicit, lure, entice, or attempt to seduce a child' would be committing a third-degree felony and could receive a jail sentence of up to five years. ... " Not Foley. Panther Geronimo Pratt served 30 years in solitary confinement for murders he didn't commit (his struggle for release was agitated against by Republican commentators, of course). But despite confessions, despite the slew of evidence that renders Mark Foley a weepy, whiny soldier for Christ pleading for forgiveness, despite all legal mandatory sentencing guidelines, he goes free. I guess prosecutors felt sorry for the tearful monster. - AC
Foley "deeply ashamed" as investigaton concludes without charges
By Jim Turner
September 19, 2008
TALLAHASSEE — On the day a two-year state investigation into sexually explicit electronic messages ended Friday without charges, former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley declared he is “deeply ashamed” by the inappropriate sexually explicit electronic messages he sent to House pages.
“I accept full responsibility for my inappropriate conduct, and continue to pray for forgiveness from those I have disappointed and caused any emotional harm,” Foley stated in a prepared message read by his attorney David Roth.
“But for my faith, the prayers of loved ones, hundreds of friends, total strangers, and most importantly the grace they have given me, I would never have survived this ordeal I am solely responsible for.”
Foley called the incident the most “difficult and painful” period of his life.
Foley did not attend an afternoon press conference in West Palm Beach Friday afternoon on the advice of his mental health and substance abuse therapists, Roth said. He continues to recover from alcohol abuse and sexual abuse at the hands of his parish priest.
Repeating often that they were unable to get access to the computer hard drives used by Foley, Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators concluded there is insufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges again Foley, 54, as an Internet sex predator.
Roth said a similar investigation conducted by the FBI was completed July 30.
“We had not commented on that. It has been Mark’s position that we would not comment on the pending investigation until all investigations were closed, and to the very best of our knowledge all investigations have been closed,” Roth said.
According to the FDLE, Foley was able to keep investigators from looking at his computers because of the Speech and Debate Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which the general counsel for the House claimed prohibited providing anyone access to the equipment or back up tapes without authorization from the congressman.
“FDLE conducted as thorough and comprehensive investigation as possible considering Congress and Mr. Foley denied us access to critical data,” FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey said. “Should additional information arise which is pertinent to this case, we will ensure it is appropriately investigated.”
Roth said possibly thousands of hours were spent by the Department of Justice and Foley’s attorneys reviewing the computers.
“Other than the Speech and Debate Clause protection, which the House of Representatives asked to be protected, all other information was made available,” Roth said. “There is no information that adds anything to what was known in Sept. 2006.”
Susan MacManus, a University of South Florida political science professor, said the excuse that investigators couldn’t fully complete their investigation will not satisfy Americans.
“When the public hears that it will be one more reasons that they’re down on Congress and elected officials,” MacManus said. “Right now Congress is at record low ratings and this involved possible child abuse and that will not sit well with the public.”
The report notes even if state investigators had more access to Foley’s text messages, Director Maureen Horkan of the Office of Attorney General, Child Predator Cyber Crime Unit, stated the statute of limitations regarding the alleged inappropriate instant messages sent by Foley to on February 2-3, 2003, would have expired on February 2-3, 2006.
The reported added, that “However, it is important to note that even if the statute of limitations had not run, there would be no prosecutable case. There are no original records of the ‘instant messages.’“
Foley, resigned from Congress in September 2006 after reports surfaced that he exchanged a series of sexually charged online messages with teenage congressional pages.
Almost immediately after his resignation, law enforcement officials began investigating the online messages.
One incident in particular caught the eye of investigators, they said. While campaigning for a Senate seat in 2003, Foley sent online messages to a male teenager describing sexual acts, a clear violation of the state’s law on Internet sex predators.
The law states “any person who knowingly utilizes a computer online service or Internet service to seduce, solicit, lure, entice, or attempt to seduce a child” would be committing a third-degree felony and could receive a jail sentence of up to five years.
Staff writer George Andreassi contributed to this report