Let’s say Florida Congressman Mark Foley lived one state away in Georgia, where the age of consent is 16 years. And let’s say these pages were also residents of states where the age of consent was 16 (Alaska, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Dakota).
Let’s also keep the fact that none of the three pages involved were under his employ at the time of his messaging.
And let’s say he e-mail them from his home to the pages’ homes (it appears the latter is true).
Would the Congressman have been guilty of anything?
(I know some of the response here will be “But he was from Florida, so what?” Well, there are plenty of threads here already about him being from Florida. What I’m trying to do is bring up a question of moral relativism.)
The pages worked for Congress, and Mr. Foley was a congressman. Even though there was no chain-of-command link, Foley could have gotten any one of them fired. Sending sexually explicit emails and IMs to someone who works where you work is sexual harassment, clear and simple.
Does anyplace still prosecute for “corrupting the morals of a minor?” If so, it would appear that he’s nailed on that, no matter what the age of consent.
I haven’t looked that much into the facts, but every single case I’ve seen the feds or state’s prosecute have had the defendant travel to meet the minor, which the feds and Florida define IIRC as under 18, and I’m not sure that ever happened. There was one that indicated they might meet in San Diego, but I have no idea if that ever happened.
I’d be surprised if there was any prosecution for this.
In the U.S., a minor is anyone who has not reached the age of majority that is currently set at 18.
This age of majority, of course, does not universally affect all laws, so that the several states have widely differing ages for statutory rape, obtaining drver’s licenses, buying or consuming alcoholic beverages, etc.
To the narrow question “what is a minor?” the answer is anyone who has not yet attained their eighteenth birthday. (There are also provisions for identifying mentally disabled people, but I do not believe the word “minor” is used in that way.)
It depends where he solicited the sexual activity to occur. If the minor was supposed to meet him for sex in DC and the minor was over 16, I don’t think it would be illegal. If the minor was supposed to meet him for sex in Florida and the minor was under the age of consent for Florida, then it would be illegal, and thus illegal for him to use the IMs to arrange such a “date”.
By all means if you have a point or question to raise, do so.
(a) Whoever knowingly persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any individual to travel in interstate or foreign commerce, or in any Territory or Possession of the United States, to engage in prostitution, or in any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.
(b) Whoever, using the mail or any facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce, or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States knowingly persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years, to engage in prostitution or any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title and imprisoned not less than 5 years and not more than 30 years.