[Posted by WLS]
Question: If a deaf gay guy used sign language to proposition another deaf gay guy in a gay nightclub, would it be a crime?
If not, then why is a toe tap and a hand gesture under the partition of a men’s room stall a crime?
My question is purely one of legalities — not of politics. I think he should and must resign simply due to his inability to control his impulses.
But, he’s being driven from office upon the canard that he “pled guilty” — but I can’t find the elements of a crime in the taped interview.
When did the solicitation of consensual sexual encounter — not for financial renumeration — become a crime?
No sex act in public took place. Maybe Craig would have only exchanged telephone numbers with a willing paramour for the purpose of making a later rendevous.
Or maybe he wanted to have sex in the men’s room stall.
WE DON’T KNOW. The ”crime” to the extent its defined here is in the mind of the cop. A guy touches the cop foot to foot and makes a hand gesture, and the cop slides him a card that says “Police” and he’s under arrest.
Wow – since I wrote the part above the jump, I found the police report online. I’m stunned. The cop placed Craig under arrest when the only “act” committed by Craig was a toe tap and running his hand along the bottom of the stall wall.
In the plea agreement Craig made the following admission:
“That …. I engaged in conduct which I knew or should have known tended to arouse alarm or resentment of others which conduct was physical (versus verbal) in nature.”
But, these facts DO NOT establish the crime with which he was charged and to which the Hennepin County prosecutor and Court accepted a guilty plea.
The statute, 609-72(1)(3) — “Disorderly Conduct”, defines the offense as follows:
“Engag[ing] in offensive, obscene, abusive, boisterous, or noisy conduct or in offensive, obscene, or abusive language tending reasonably to arouse alarm, anger, or resentment in others.”
Here’s my problem:
The language of the statute describes 2 circumstances — one is based on conduct, one is based on language.
The facts set forth supporting the plea supports neither crime as defined in the statute– the plea agreement drafted by Hennepin County prosecutor specifically excludes the language aspect of the statute as it specifically refers to “physical” conduct.
So, to be guilty of the crime with which he was charged, the facts needed to establish that his conduct was “offensive, obscene, boisterous or noisy….”
The prosecutor that drafted the agreement didn’t define a crime with his facts, as its clear that the statute is not meant to reach “all conduct” which might “tend to alarm, anger or disturb others.” Any statute that attempted to define a crime so broadly and vaguely would be facially unconstitutional.
So, a toe tap and a running one’s hand along the bottom of the men’s room stall …..
Offensive? To whom?
Obscene? To whom?
Boisterous? — No.
Noisy? — Obviously not.
Annoying? Yes, but that’s not a crime.
Craig did himself a disservice by pleading guilty without the presence of a lawyer. Any good lawyer would have made this cop choke on his interview and his report.
And this is coming from a prosecutor.