On October 3, 1980, while running for re-election, Bauman was charged for soliciting sex from a 16-year-old male prostitute.
After the charges were made public, Bauman said he was suffering from alcoholism and entered himself into a court-supervised rehabilitation program, which, upon successful completion, resulted in the charges being dropped. Bauman stated he would continue his re-election campaign, and apologized to voters for his indiscretions.
Bauman was defeated by Democrat Roy Dyson on November 5, 1980. Dyson was not considered a serious contender for the seat before the charges were filed against Bauman.
He wrote an autobiography, The Gentleman from Maryland: The Conscience of a Gay Conservative, which was published in 1986.
From Aug 6, 1986, Washington Post article by Lois Romano--
He still weeps whenever he smells lilacs, sweet with memories of his old Eastern Shore home and happier times there. But all that is a lifetime behind Robert Bauman now, nearly six years since he was forced to confront the homosexuality and alcoholism that destroyed his political career, wrecked his marriage and almost drove him to suicide.
"Conservatives can't accept the thinking that homosexuality is something that happens to you before you're 4 -- they think it's a matter of choice -- they think that I have chosen this," the former Republican congressman from Maryland says. "It's not a matter of choice. As I have said, if I could take a pill and change it I would. I'd rather have my family back."
Sitting in his Capitol Hill law office, Bauman, 49, is just three blocks from where he once held forth as a self-appointed watchdog of the House, tweaking liberals and wielding power through his mastery of arcane legislative rules; three blocks from the place where he spent more than 20 years as a page, an aide and later a member, and where in the end, FBI agents informed him that he was being charged with soliciting sex from a 16-year-old male nude dancer at a gay bar. Six months later, he was through.
What made it worse for Bauman was that he had always seemed to flaunt his righteousness, his religion, his conservatism. So when he fell, much of Washington smiled.