Ex-Senator Craig accepts sex sting guilty plea

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - Former Sen. Larry Craig has ended his effort to void the guilty plea he made following his 2007 arrest in a men’s toilet sex-sting operation, his lawyer said on Thursday.

The Minnesota courts have denied the Idaho Republican’s appeals asking that he be allowed to withdraw his disorderly conduct guilty plea, which was processed by mail much like a traffic ticket.

Another appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court would have been fruitless, because the case did not raise significant or novel issues, Craig’s attorney Thomas Kelly said.

The three-term Republican’s term ended this week, and he has returned to Idaho, Kelly said.

Craig was arrested at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on June 11, 2007, by an undercover police officer who said the lawmaker peeked at him repeatedly through a crack in a stall door, sat down in the stall next to him and used hand and foot signals to indicate he was soliciting sex.

Craig, 63 and married, denied he was trolling for sex or was gay. Part of his explanation, which became frequent fodder for comedians, was that he was a big man who needed to spread his legs while sitting on the toilet.

Reporting by Andrew Stern; editing by Michael Conlon