As part of the effort to rehabilitate the reputation and save the political career of Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, his children Michael Craig and Shae Howell spoke to ABC News' "Good Morning America" this week to testify that their father isn't gay and was not in fact guilty of the lewd conduct for which he was arrested.
Michael Craig said his father was simply "a victim of circumstance" who was "in the wrong place at the wrong time."
But the criminal records of Michael Craig and his sister, whom Sen. Craig adopted after marrying their mother, Suzanne, in 1983, not only call into question their credibility as character witnesses but may even further undermine Craig's portrayal of himself as a defender of family values.
At least two women have sought restraining orders against Michael Craig, who was once charged with statutory rape, though the charge was dismissed. He did not return a call for comment. And at the time of Howell's appearance on "Good Morning America" there was a warrant out for her arrest resulting from her allegedly breaking into her estranged husband's home and destroying property.
In a statement issued to ABC News, Sen. Craig and his wife said that "Raising children in their teens and as they become adults is never an easy task. Few people have gone through life without a few bumps. Our kids have worked to get through their tough times, and we have supported them as families do. We have watched them grow to become loving and caring parents of our beautiful grandchildren. We love our children very much and stand by them even when they struggle."
By far the charges against Michael Craig, 38, seem the more serious. One of the restraining orders against him was issued by a former girlfriend after he was arrested in 1993 for committing an act of battery against her that broke her nose, according to court records. He pleaded guilty to the charge in May 1994 and was ordered to have no contact with her.
The other order was sought after his wife, Stephanie Craig, who charged him with an act of battery in November 2003, according to court records. In January, he was ordered to have no contact with his wife. He pleaded guilty in March 2004 and was ordered to undergo counseling. Stephanie Craig appears to have temporarily resided at St. Mark's Crisis Action Center in Boise, an intervention services center for families in crisis.
When contacted Friday, Stephanie Craig told ABC News, "I'm not interested in talking about this" and hung up the phone.
Michael Craig was also charged with the felony statutory rape of a 16-year-old girl in 1988, when he was 19. That charge was eventually dismissed.
Members of the girl's family told ABC News that they continue to support Sen. Craig politically, though they refrained from commenting on Michael Craig, who did not return a call for comment.
As for Craig's daughter, Shae Howell, in April, a warrant was issued for her arrest after she failed to show up for a court date stemming from November 17, 2006, when she was charged with "unlawful entry" and "malicious entry to property."