Idaho senator pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct

Senator Larry Craig (R-ID)
Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) Handout/MCT

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Sen. Larry Craig was arrested in the Minneapolis airport men's room by a plainclothes police officer who was investigating complaints of lewd conduct, according to a police report of the incident.

Craig later pleaded guilty to charges of disorderly conduct.

Craig, an Idaho Republican, was arrested June 11 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. First reported Monday in Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, a police incident report that says a plainclothes officer was investigating complaints about sexual activity in the men’s public restroom.

Craig was “detained for approximately 45 minutes, interviewed, photographed, fingerprinted and released, and police prepared a formal complaint for interference with privacy and disorderly conduct,” according to a copy of the incident report provided by Roll Call.

According to the police report, Minneapolis airport police have made “numerous arrests regarding sexual activity in the public restroom.”

Craig’s arrest was confirmed by Nancy Peters, a spokeswoman for Hennepin County Courts in Minneapolis. Peters confirmed the Roll Call report that said Craig pleaded guilty Aug. 8 to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. Craig was fined $1,000 and sentenced to 10 days in jail, Peters said. However, the 10-day sentence was stayed for a year, meaning that Craig avoids jail time unless he is rearrested on a similar charge within a year.

Peters said Craig paid $575 of the fine and won’t have to pay the $425 balance as long as he meets the terms of his year-long probation, which will be unsupervised.

Craig released a statement late Monday saying he had done nothing wrong. He told no one on his staff or in the Senate leadership about the arrest until it was made public by Roll Call. According to his statement, Craig did not consult a lawyer.

“At the time of this incident, I complained to the police that they were misconstruing my actions. I was not involved in any inappropriate conduct,” Craig said in his statement. “I should have had the advice of counsel in resolving this matter. In hindsight, I should not have pled guilty. I was trying to handle this matter myself quickly and expeditiously.”

Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic majority leader, had no comment. A spokesman said he was not aware of the arrest until it was reported in Roll Call. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, was traveling in Kentucky and hadn’t heard about the arrest, said spokesman Josh Holmes.

Related stories from McClatchy DC