The Advocate July/Aug 2022
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Eight Men Claim
Encounters With Craig

Eight Men Claim
            Encounters With Craig

Eight men say
they either had sex with Sen. Larry Craig or were targets
of sexual advances by the Idaho lawmaker at various times
during his political career, a newspaper reported
Sunday.

One of the men is
the former escort whose allegations disgraced the
Reverend Ted Haggard, former president of the National
Association of Evangelicals, the Idaho
Statesman
reported.

The newspaper
identified four men and reported details of the encounters
they say involved Craig. It also reported the accounts of
four other men who did not agree to be identified but
who described sexual advances or encounters involving
the conservative Republican, who opposes same-sex
marriage and has a strong record against gay rights.

Craig pleaded
guilty to disorderly conduct after being accused by an
undercover officer of soliciting sex at the Minneapolis-St.
Paul airport and later called a news conference to
deny that he is gay.

The newspaper
acknowledged that its report was not based on definitive
evidence but said it also found no evidence to disprove the
accounts of the four identified men. It said it
reviewed the senator's travel records, which put him
where the sex is alleged to have taken place, and did
background checks on those making the allegations.

Craig and members
of his staff declined to comment to the newspaper.

But in a
statement e-mailed to the Associated Press on Sunday, the
senator said the newspaper's report was ''completely false''
and he accused the paper of careless journalism.

''It is
unfortunate that the Idaho Statesman has chosen
to continue to lower itself to the standards of what can
best be described as tabloid journalism,'' Craig said
in the statement.

''Despite the
fact the Idaho Statesman has decided to pursue
its own agenda and print these falsehoods without any
facts to back them up, I won't let this paper's attempt to
malign my name stop me from continuing my work to
serve the people of Idaho.''

The report is the
Statesman's latest on allegations about Craig's
sexual background since his June arrest in an airport
men's room sex sting operation was reported in late August.

Statesman editor Vicki Gowler said the
newspaper spent several months checking the backgrounds and
details of the men's stories.

''We believe it's
important for you to know what we've learned and to
hear the men's own words,'' Gowler said.

Two of the
identified men and one of the unidentified men told the
newspaper they had sex with Craig.

One of the men
identified in the report, Mike Jones, 50, described as a
former paid escort, was the focus of the sex scandal
involving Haggard, the disgraced leader of Colorado's
New Life Church.

Jones said Craig
paid him $200 for sex in late 2004 or early 2005. The
encounter took place at a studio apartment in downtown
Denver, Jones said.

Jones told the
Statesman that he did not recognize Craig until
his arrest made the news. The newspaper reported that
Jones went on the record after Craig appeared in a
television news report in August to address the arrest
and his future in politics.

Jones has written
a book about his experience with Haggard and
acknowledged to the Statesman that his
allegation about Craig might help sales. There was no
immediate response to message left for Jones by
the Associated Press through his publisher Sunday
evening.

Current phone
numbers could not be found for the three other men
identified in the Statesman's report.

Amid pressure
from top GOP leaders in Washington, Craig announced his
intent to resign from the Senate. He later changed his mind,
deciding to finish out his term, which expires in
January 2009. He is also appealing in Minnesota courts
to have his guilty plea overturned.

The undercover
police officer who arrested Craig said the senator moved
his foot next to the officer's foot and tapped it in a way
that indicated he wanted sex. He also alleged the
senator sent a signal by swiping his hand under the
divider between men's room stalls.

Craig has said
the officer misconstrued those motions. (AP)

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