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ACLU says Craig's actions private, legal

January 16, 2008|From the Associated Press

ST. PAUL, MINN. — In an effort to help Sen. Larry Craig, the American Civil Liberties Union is arguing that people who have sex in public restrooms have an expectation of privacy.

Craig (R-Idaho) is asking the Minnesota Court of Appeals to let him withdraw his guilty plea to disorderly conduct stemming from a restroom sex sting at the Minneapolis airport.

The ACLU filed a brief Tuesday supporting Craig. It cited a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling 38 years ago that found that people who have sex in closed stalls in public restrooms "have a reasonable expectation of privacy."

The Republican senator was arrested June 11 by an undercover officer who said Craig tapped his feet and swiped his hand under a stall divider in a way that signaled he wanted sex. Craig has denied that.

The ACLU argued that even if Craig was inviting the officer to have sex, his actions wouldn't be illegal.

"The government cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Sen. Craig was inviting the undercover officer to engage in anything other than sexual intimacy that would not have called attention to itself in a closed stall in the public restroom," the ACLU wrote.

The ACLU also noted that Craig was originally charged with interference with privacy, which it said was an admission by the state that people in the restroom stall expect privacy.

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