Prosecution of Foley:

Eugene writes: "Masturbating isn't a crime, fortunately, whatever the age of the person's who's masturbating; but getting a minor to masturbate for you might be, depending on the jurisdiction and on the minor's age." He then cites modern cases from California and New York which might support this theory.

It wasn't so long ago that statutory law was very clear on the subject. During the Progressive Era, there was a widespread, and successful, campaign in which medical science was used to promote laws against sexual conduct which was, supposedly, unhealthy and dangerous.

This effort led as far as statutes in both Indiana (enacted in 1881) and Wyoming (enacted in 1890) that included the following language in their criminal codes: "Whosoever entices, allures, instigates or aids any person under the age of twenty-one years to commit masturbation or self-pollution shall be deemed guilty of sodomy."
Ronald Hamowy, Preventive Medicine and the Criminalization of Sexual Immorality in Nineteenth Century America, in ASSESSING THE CRIMINAL: RESTITUTION, RETRIBUTION, AND THE LEGAL PROCESS 78 (Randy E. Barnett & John Hagel III eds., 1977), cited in Randy E. Barnett, Bad Trip: Drug Prohibition and the Weakness of Public Policy, book review of America's Longest War: Rethinking Our Tragic Crusade Against Drugs (By Steven B. Duke & Albert C. Gross. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1993. Pp. xix, 348. $26.95), 103 Yale Law Journal 2593, 2607 (1994).

The Sodomy Law website cites the Wyoming statute as Laws of Wyoming 1890, page 139, ch. 73, §87, and notes that the statute was repealed in 1977.

The Indiana statute carried a penalty of 2 to 14 years. Acts 1881 Indiana, page 174, ch. XXXVII, §100. In Young v. State, an activist state supreme court construed the masturbation statute so broadly as to apply it to cunnilingus. 141 N.E. 309 (1923). In 1973, the anti-masturbation law was amended so that it applied to persons under 18, rather than persons under 21. Acts 1973 Indiana, page 1732, Public Law No. 320, at 1733-1734, §3. The law was entirely repealed in 1976 when the criminal code was revised.