Tuesday, October 03, 2006

1983 Congressional page sex scandal

The 1983 Congressional page sex scandal was a political scandal in the United States involving members of the United States House of Representatives.

On July 14, 1983 the House Ethics Committee concluded that Rep. Dan Crane (R-Ill.) and Rep. Gerry Studds (D-Mass.) had engaged in sexual relationships with minors, specifically 17-year-old congressional pages. In Crane's case, it was a 1980 relationship with a female page and in Studds's case, it was a 1973 relationship with a male page. Both representatives immediately pleaded guilty to the charges and the committee decided to simply reprimand the two.

However, Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) demanded their expulsion. On July 20, 1983 the House voted for censure, the first time that censure had been imposed for sexual misconduct. Crane, who tearfully apologized for his transgression, lost his bid for reelection in 1984.

Studds, however, stood by the facts of the case and refused to apologize for his behavior, and even turned his back and ignored the censure being read to him. He called a press conference with the former page, in which both stated that the young man, who was 17, consented. Studds had taken the adolescent to Morocco to engage in sexual activity, and therefore did not break any U.S. laws in what he called a "private relationship."[1] He continued to be reelected until his retirement in 1996....


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