Even today, 2 years after Mark Foley's very public fall from grace, the former congressman can't explain why he sent lurid, sexually explicit computer messages to male teens working as Capitol Hill pages. "There was never anywhere in those conversations where someone said, 'Stop,' or 'I'm not enjoying this,' or 'This is inappropriate.' But again, I'm the adult here, I'm the congressman," Foley said.
Foley had built a national reputation as an advocate for tougher penalties against child sexual predators. And while he concedes his behavior was "extraordinarily stupid," Foley said there was no hypocrisy. "The work I was doing was involving young children. ... You know, you hear the term 'pedophile.' That is prepubescent," Foley said, noting a "huge difference" from lurid chats with 17-year-olds on the brink of adulthood.