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Excerpts From House Report On Gerry Studds

From the Washington Post via Lexis-Nexis: 

Excerpts From Committee Report on Rep. Studds and Male Page

The Washington Post, First Section; A10 July, 15 1983

Following are excerpts from the report of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct regarding Rep. Gerry E. Studds' (D-Mass.) relationship with a male page:

One former page testified under oath that he had heard a rumor that Rep. Studds had traveled overseas with a congressional page. He could not recall the name of the page who allegedly made the trip. In another deposition, another former page provided the name of the page rumored to have traveled overseas with Rep. Studds.

In his deposition, the male page who had allegedly traveled to Europe with Rep. Studds testified that he had visited Rep. Studds' apartment at the congressman's invitation on at least three or four occasions in 1973 and that Rep. Studds and the page had engaged in sexual activity on each of those occasions.

The page testified that in late July, 1973, Rep. Studds invited him to travel abroad during the August recess. The page agreed, and the two took a 2 1/2 week trip together abroad. According to the page's testimony, they engaged in sexual activity every two or three days during this trip.

The page was 17 years old during the time he testified that he had a sexual relationship with Rep. Studds; the relationship may have begun when the page was 16, since the page was born in the spring of 1956. At that time, Rep. Studds was 36 years old.

Two other former pages, both male, have stated under oath that Rep. Studds made sexual advances to them in 1973 while they were serving as House pages. One was 16 or 17 years old at the time of the alleged incident; the other was 17.

The special counsel's staff interviewed the former page who had traveled with Rep. Studds twice before his deposition. At each interview the page admitted traveling to Europe with Rep. Studds, but he denied that he had been sexually propositioned by the member, and he denied that there had been a sexual relationship between them.

Then, just prior to his deposition, the page took aside a member of the special counsel's staff and told him that he had not been telling the truth. He stated then, and testified under oath in his deposition, that he had a sexual relationship with Rep. Studds while serving as a House page during the spring and summer of 1973.

The page testified that another page introduced him to Rep. Studds and a group of other congressmen at a restaurant in May or June, 1973. According to the page's testimony under oath, sometime after this introduction, Rep. Studds invited the page to the representative's house in Georgetown for dinner:

Q. After you met Congressman Studds, did you and he get together again shortly after that?

A. Yes. Shortly thereafter–I am not sure how long, how long it was–but I was invited to go out to dinner with him and I did. The dinner took place at his apartment in Georgetown. Would you wish a follow-up question?

Q. The follow-up question would be what happened at that dinner?

A. Well, we sat around and talked about abstract and general questions, all types and descriptions, until four in the morning, drinking vodka and cranberry juice, at which time I was told by the congressman that he was too drunk to give me a ride home and so he said, Why don't you sleep here? and I did.

At that point, according to the page's testimony, the congressman engaged the page in sexual activity.

The page testified that the sexual relationship continued after that first night:

Q. Did you and the congressman get together subsequent to this?

A. Yes. I would imagine we had dinner three or four additional times. Specifically I do not recall. But that is in the ballpark.

Q. And did you engage in sexual activity each time?

A. Yes.

Q. When the congressman first invited you to have dinner and as you got to know the congressman, how did you feel in that environment, that a congressman was talking with you?

A. I was flattered and excited.

Q. Did you feel intimidated?

A. No, I did not. I would like to state at this time–it would probably have been better if I had stated this in my opening statement–but the congressman or the Honorable Gerry Studds was an intelligent, witty, gentle man with I think a high level of insecurity. He did nothing to me which I would consider destructive or painful.

In another time, in another society, the action would be acceptable, perhaps even laudable. Unfortunately this is not the case. I have no ax to grind with him. I have nothing negative to say about the man. In fact, I thought that he provided me with one of the more wonderful experiences of my life, if we exclude the instances of sexual experience which I was somewhat uncomfortable with. But I did not think it was that big a deal.

Q. You said you felt uncomfortable with it, did you continue with him because he was a congressman, because he was someone you were impressed with?

A. No. Well, I kept company with him because he was an intelligent man, a fun person to be with. If I could have had my druthers, I would have had the friendship that I had with the man without the sex. And I mentioned that to him.

According to the page's testimony, his sexual relationship with Rep. Studds continued during their trip together in August, 1973. The evidence does not indicate that any official funds were used for the trip. The page testified that he paid his own air fare to Europe, and a portion of the cost of meals and lodging with Rep. Studds. The page testified that his relationship with Mr. Studds ended when they returned to the United States. The page also testified as follows:

Q. Did Mr. Studds ever offer any preferential treatment or offer you any inducement to have a relationship with him?

A. No, he did not.

Q. Did he ever threaten you or coerce you if you did not have a relationship with him?

A. He did not. Essentially all I needed to do to stop the relationship was walk out the door, or not go in the door, as the case may be.

The page testified that he is not homosexual and he had not had a homosexual relationship prior to his relationship with Rep. Studds.

Lest we forget the House did not force Mr. Studds to resign. They merely censured him. And when his censure was read he defiantly stood in the House well looking up at Speaker Tip O’Neill, with his backs to his colleagues.

In fact, Studds never even apologized. Instead he and one of the pages he had had sex with held a press conference. In it Studds defiantly stated that their "relationship" was nobody else’s business.

Many of Studds’ Democratic colleagues including some in the current House and Senate leadership voted against the slap on the wrist of censure. (Conyers, Frank, Lantos, Miller, Obey, Rahall, Waxman, Hoyer and Schumer all voted against it.)

Then Rep. Parren Mitchell of Maryland complained at the time of the "absolute humiliation and degradation" Studds had already suffered and said censure would only "cannibalize him."

Moreover, Rep. Studds not only remained in Congress for more than a decade, the House Democratic leadership allowed him to rise in the congressional ranks and for years hold a full committee chairmanship.

But of course Mr. Studds was a Democrat.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, October 5th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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