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Larry Craig Redux: Florida State Rep Blowjob Bob Allen in Court Over Bathroom Escapade

VIERA, Florida — A Florida Republican lawmaker was in court Wednesday defending against charges that he offered an undercover police officer $20 to perform oral sex on him, in a case that deals another black eye to already scandal-ravaged Republicans on the local and national level.

State Rep. Bob Allen [pictured] is alleged to have solicited sex from the undercover male officer at a restroom in Florida public park in July. Prosecutors Wednesday said Allen first peered over the bathroom stall to show his interest and eventually went into the same stall and suggested they go somewhere more private.

“You’re not a cop, are you?” Allen asked the officer after agreeing to pay the $20 for oral sex, according to prosecutor Pat Whitaker.

The Republican lawmaker faces a second-degree misdemeanor charge of soliciting prostitution. The charge carries a maximum 60 days in county jail and a $500 fine. Allen pleaded not guilty after being arrested after the July at Titusville’s Veteran’s Memorial Park.

Defense attorney Greg Eisenmenger later countered that Allen never solicited sex and that it was the officer who asked for $20 in exchange for oral sex.

Testimony was scheduled to resume Thursday.

The case further sullies the Republicans in a year where other scandals have damaged its further damaged its reputation and adding to worries ahead of the 2008 presidential and legislative elections.

In August, U.S. Sen. Larry Craig pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after he was accused of soliciting sex in a bathroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in June. Craig has denied wrongdoing, unsuccessfully sought to appeal his plea, and has said he only entered it to avoid embarrassment.

In another incident, U.S. Sen. David Vitter was left struggling since July to convince a disbelieving public that he did not consort with prostitutes after his Washington phone number showed up on the phone records of an escort service. Vitter has so far weathered the maelstrom.

In the Florida case, Allen’s attorney, Eisenmenger, suggested in court that the lawmaker agreed to pay the money because he was intimidated by the plain-clothed officer in the restroom and was playing along until he could get out of the restroom. He also said the bathroom’s stall walls are too high for Allen to peer over.

Even if the lawmaker had agreed to the deal because he wanted sex, Eisenmenger said, it was the officer who initiated the exchange.

“The only way you can find my client guilty is that if you find he offered (the officer) money for sex,” he said.

Allen has served it for seven years in the Legislature. He is honored on a plaque at Veterans’ Memorial Park for its funding.

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