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Craig case restroom to get new dividers

September 29, 2007|From the Associated Press

minneapolis -- The infamous airport men's room where Sen. Larry E. Craig (R-Idaho) was arrested is getting new stall dividers that drop nearly to the floor to make it a less inviting spot for sexual liaisons.

Websites had touted that restroom as a popular place for sex with strangers, and police reports over the summer described several cases of men ducking their heads under the dividers into adjoining stalls, allegedly in search of sex.

On June 11, an undercover police officer was in a men's room at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport when Craig allegedly tapped his feet and swiped his hand under the divider, which authorities said was a signal used by people seeking sex. Craig pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct, but when the incident became public, he denied ever seeking sex there and said the officer misunderstood his actions. Craig is now seeking to withdraw his guilty plea.

The airport has more than 80 restrooms, but only two are being targeted for the new dividers.

"These two have been the most problematic in terms of complaints from people and indications on websites that sexual activities are occurring in them," said airport spokesman Patrick Hogan. He said the dividers would be installed within the next two months.

Both restrooms, in a busy shopping area, had a reputation on some websites as good places for bathroom liaisons. Hogan said airport officials had been checking the websites and found the activity had dropped off since Craig's arrest.

One person arrested over the summer told police he had four sexual encounters in three hours, Hogan said.

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