Video: Attorney: Foley names clergyman he accuses of abuse

updated 10/18/2006 8:22:46 PM ET 2006-10-19T00:22:46

Lawyers for disgraced former Congressman Mark Foley said they revealed to state prosecutors Wednesday the name of a clergyman he said abused him as a teen.

The announcement came two weeks after Foley’s criminal defense lawyer, David Roth, first said Foley had been abused by a clergyman. The claim came as he responded to accusations that Foley sent sexually explicit Internet communications to teenage boys who worked on Capitol Hill.

Foley, 52, a Florida Republican, resigned last month after being confronted with the Internet exchanges and has since entered a 30-day rehabilitation program for alcoholism, according to his attorneys.

Mike Edmondson, a spokesman for the state attorney’s office in West Palm Beach, said Wednesday evening his office had not yet seen the name.

“I’m sure they faxed it over. It could very well just be sitting on the fax machine,” Edmondson said.

A joint statement from Roth and Foley’s civil attorney, Gerald Richman, said they agreed with the Archdiocese of Miami that the clergy member’s name should first be disclosed to the state attorney’s office. Edmondson said prosecutors would share the name of the clergyman with the Archdiocese Thursday, as long as it was received by the office before it opened for business.

“To the best of our knowledge the clergyman no longer resides in the United States,” the statement said.

Earlier in the day, Archdiocese spokeswoman Mary Ross Agosta said the church was growing frustrated with the drip of information coming from Foley’s attorneys.

“However he wants to tell us, fine, but tell us,” Agosta said. “It’s very frustrating at this point.”

On Tuesday, Richman said that would only say that the priest who allegedly abused Foley is still alive and that the statute of limitations for criminal charges against the man has expired.

Edmondson said Wednesday that to claim outright that the statute of limitations has expired is somewhat misleading because the alleged abuser may have committed similar crimes more recently on other victims.

“There’s still a pool of potential victims out there,” he said.

Richman did not return a telephone message seeking comment. Roth has declined to discuss the case.

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