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The Messages

Lawmaker's Intentions Appear Clear In Exchanges

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By Jonathan Weisman and Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, October 5, 2006

The message exchanges included plenty of kid stuff -- talk of killer finals and botched SATs, cramming to learn the lines of a school play, picking up a sister at cheerleading practice. But when two former pages sat down at their computers to furtively chat with then-Rep. Mark Foley, they were also acting out a parent's nightmare with a man with clear designs.

"BRB [Be right back] . . . my mom is yelling," one teenage boy wrote just after Foley coaxed him into discussing his anatomy with a lascivious "ummmmmmmmm . . . beautiful."

"back," the boy continued.

"cool hope s[h]e didnt see any thing," Foley responded.

"no no . . . she is computer dumb," the boy offered.

The instant messages that surfaced last Friday drove the Florida Republican from office and ignited a political firestorm over the handling of the matter that has engulfed House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (Ill.) and other senior Republicans. The controversy could tip the balance of Congress to the Democrats in an election that is just five weeks away.

Now, with the help of a former House page who served with the two male pages who conversed online with Foley, The Washington Post obtained dozens of America Online instant messages yesterday that illuminate the apparent predations of the disgraced former congressman. David Roth, Foley's attorney in Florida, said last night of the messages: "I'm not going to comment on anything unless it's in a public forum before everyone."

Some of the instant messages were previously reported by ABC News. The conversations occurred between December 2002 and October 2003, according to the date stamps on the computer files. The vast majority of the messages were between Foley and one of the two former pages. Some of the exchanges took place before the boy turned 18. Attempts by The Post to contact the two former pages were unsuccessful.

Taken together, the chats seem to make clear that Foley tried to lure the boys into sexual encounters, and certainly encouraged lurid behavior online. In one conversation, it appears clear that Foley met with one boy in San Diego.

There is no clear evidence that Foley and the boys had sexual contact. But they frequently talked about getting together

At one point Foley wrote: "i miss you lots since san diego."

"ya i cant wait till dc," the former page replied. "did you pick a night for the dinner"?


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