Mark Foley Scandal Has Knoxville Ties

More revelations have come to light on the scandal surrounding former Congressman Mark Foley, including an East Tennessee tie.

Some former pages, including one who grew up here in Knoxville are now breaking their silence about encounters with former Congressman Mark Foley.

Tyson Vivyan is a 1998 Karns High School graduate who began contacting Washington officials on Monday to reveal his story.

Vivyan says Tennessee Congressman Jimmy Duncan nominated him to become a page as part of the Karns page opportunity for high school juniors.

Now Vivyan lives in Atlanta and is speaking out. He says when he was a page in 1996 and 1997, Congressman Mark Foley didn't speak to him.

But Vivyan says shortly after he left Capitol Hill, the Congressman initiated contact with instant messages. Vivyan says he was 17 at the time, a minor.

"The conversation turned sexual almost immediately," said Vivyan.

It went on for years according to Vivyan... emails, brief phone conversations, instant messages.

He says after his tenure as a page, when he was about 19, he returned to Washington and was invited to Foley's house. He says he brought another page with him, to make sure things didn't get out of hand.

"He ordered pizza, offered us beer which we declined, because at the time we were both minors," said Vivyan.

The other former page who went with Vivyan that night, Josh Abrons says he doesn't recall alcohol being present. Vivyan and Abrons both say nothing inappropriate happened.

But Abrons also says Foley had exchanged instant messages with him after he left the page program but while he was still a minor.

Abrons says he initiated contact with Foley but only to talk about politics. He says Fole did talk politics and...

"He did make explicit references, he talked about his anatomy-- his own and other people's, he did enjoy talking about sex frequently. And he did ask if I was attracted to him physically."

Neither Abrons nor Vivyan could provide copies of their alleged communications with Foley from that time. Vivyan showed us correspondence he said he had with Foley later.

Abrons and Vivyan say they made it clear they weren't interested in physical relationships with Foley.

But why didn't they report this contact to authorities?

"For a 17-year-old to receive instant messages from a member of Congress is quite something, and you do not want to burn that bridge with a Member of Congress," said Abrons.


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