Thursday, April 26, 2007
Florida authorities are considering whether to charge Mark Foley as an Internet sex predator as a result of lurid online messages he sent a male teenager from a hotel room in Pensacola, law enforcement officials said Wednesday.
Foley, then 52, was campaigning for a Senate seat in 2003 when he sent the high school student and former congressional page a string of online messages describing sexual acts, a clear violation of Florida's law on Internet sex predators.
"This type of activity would fall under Florida law's criminal statute," said Maureen Horkan, the director of the Child Predator Cybercrime Unit in the Florida Attorney General's office. The law states that "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.