October 1, 2006— -- It turns out Foley's obsession with 16- and 17-year-old male pages has been known to Republicans on Capitol Hill for at least five years.
But other than issue a warning, little else seems to have been done about the congressman.
A former page has come forward to tell ABC News warnings were issued about Foley to the pages in 2001.
Matthew Loraditch says pages were told to watch out for Foley.
"It was a slight cautionary statement, you know, 'Don't get too wrapped up in him being too nice to you and all that kind of stuff.' You know, 'He's a nice guy, but he's a little bid odd,' and that sort of thing," Loraditch said.
ABC News has obtained Internet messages sent by Foley to three different pages after that warning.
Two of them were sent to pages in the 2001-2002 class, with sexually explicit messages, most too graphic to be broadcast, from Foley using the screen name Maf54.
Maf54: To be honest, I am a little to interested in you. So that's why I need to back off a little.
Teen: Ya slow things down a little im still young...like under 18. don't want to do anything illegal...im not 18.
Maf54: cool..dont forget to measure for me.
A reference to his request that the page provide the measurements of his sexual organ, a request he repeatedly made to another page as well.
Former pages tell ABC News the pages involved with Foley were afraid to offend the powerful Republican congressman.
"So there would definitely be some hesitation especially for the people who want to move up in politics eventually," Loraditch explained. "You know, you don't want to get involved in something like that."
The FBI's preliminary investigation of Foley began over the weekend, with agents in the cyber unit of the FBI already examining some of the Internet messages.
It's possible Foley could end up being prosecuted under laws he helped to enact as the co-chairman of the House caucus on Missing and Exploited Children.