A former member of the US House of Representative will not face any charges after an investigation by authorities in Florida into whether he used computers to solicit minors for illegal activities.

Republican Mark Foley represented the state’s sixteenth district for eleven years and was chairman of the House caucus on missing and exploited children.

He resigned in September 2006 after ABC News reported he sent messages to current and former underage male pages with references to sexual acts and genitalia.

Foley allegedly sent some ‘overly-friendly’ e-mails in August 2005 to a former page who was 16 years old at the time.

The exchanges were later published on the internet. He was also accused of sending sexually explicit instant messages to other House pages.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will close a criminal investigation into Foley without filing charges, reports CNN.

Investigators had earlier complained they were being prevented from fully investigating when Congress refused to release the computers used by Foley.

Foley allegedly made friends with a wide circle of teenage House of Representatives pages, then singled out “hot” boys to write to.

In October 2006 the Washington Post claimed to have identified four former pages who said they were sexually solicited by Mr Foley.

One former page, who was not identified, told Reuters that Mr Foley sent him e-mails when he was 16 asking about “my roommates, if I ever saw them naked.”

Later, the former page said the politician hinted about a job opportunity “because I was a hot boy.”

The Foley scandal was a major embarrassment for the Republicans in the run-up to the November 2006 elections, in which the party lost control of both the House and the Senate to the Democrats for the first time since 1994.

After his resignation from Congress, Foley came out of the closet and went into rehab to treat an alcohol problem.

He also claimed that as a teenager he was sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest.

A 72-year-old priest admitted to a series of sexual encounters with the teenage Mark Foley, but denied the relationship was abusive.