CBSN

Harassed Page's Parents Speak Out

Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla. speaks at a news conference in Tallahassee, Fla., March 16, 2004. Foley submitted a letter of resignation from Congress on Friday, Sept. 29,2006, in the wake of questions about e-mails he wrote a former male page, according to a congressional official. (AP Photo/Phil Coale, File)
AP Photo/Phil Coale, File
The parents of a former congressional page whose e-mails from U.S. Rep. Mark Foley led to Foley's resignation say the youth never received any sexually explicit messages from the congressman.

Nor had they known about Foley's inappropriate contact with previous pages, they said in a statement: "These instant messages which have only recently surfaced as a result of the news of the ambiguous e-mails received by our son are separate matters."

A woman identifying herself as a family representative delivered the statement to The News-Star of Monroe on Thursday. The office of U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., who sponsored the page, e-mailed the statement "as reported on CNN" to other reporters after the family released it to the network.

Revelation of the chatty but not sexually explicit e-mails from Foley in 2005 touched off the scandal.

It is the family's first statement and, it said, will be the last. It said their son, now 17, has become a "victim of harassment" and asked that news media to leave him and the family alone.

The youth received the mails in 2005 and reported them to a member of Alexander's staff. Alexander reported them to House leaders last fall and again in the spring.

Foley resigned after news reports about the e-mails, which asked the teenager how he was doing after Hurricane Katrina, what he would like for his birthday and if he would send Foley a photo of himself.

"Please honor our request that we be left alone. There is nothing more that we can contribute to this ongoing matter. He is not the story, and we feel this intense media scrutiny could endanger our son and family. We have no intention of discussing this further."

The boy's parents said Alexander handled the matter appropriately.

"As far as we know, Congressman Alexander's conduct in this matter has been beyond reproach ... we asked him to see that Congressman Foley stop e-mailing or contacting our son and to otherwise drop the matter in order to avoid a media frenzy. He did so.

"If we had had any other knowledge or evidence of potential impropriety, we would have asked for the matter to be treated differently."