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Sen. David Vitter, R-La., speaks in this 2005 file photo in New Orleans. Vitter apologized Monday ni

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., speaks in this 2005 file photo in New Orleans. Vitter apologized Monday night for "a very serious sin in my past" after his telephone number appeared among those associated with an escort service operated by the so-called "D.C. Madam." 

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., speaks in this 2005 file photo in New Orleans. Vitter apologized Monday night for

This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible," Vitter, 46, said in a statement, which his spokesman, Joel DiGrado, confirmed to the Associated Press.

"Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling," Vitter continued. "Out of respect for my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter there -- with God and them. But I certainly offer my deep and sincere apologies to all I have disappointed and let down in any way."

Neither Palfrey nor her attorney, Montgomery Blair Sibley, could be reached for comment last night. Sibley told the Associated Press that his client posted the phone records of her escort service on the Internet yesterday, four days after a federal judge lifted a restraining order preventing their publication. The records were included in a series of files on a Web site devoted to Palfrey's legal defense fund.

"I'm stunned that someone would be apologizing for this already," Sibley said.

Vitter is in his first Senate term after serving six years in the House. During his Senate campaign, Vitter was accused by a member of the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee of carrying on a lengthy affair with a prostitute in New Orleans's French Quarter

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