Archive for Friday, December 16, 2005

Four Vikes charged in sex-cruise scandal

December 16, 2005

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— Quarterback Daunte Culpepper and three Minnesota Vikings teammates were charged Thursday with indecent, lewd and disorderly conduct for participating in a bawdy boat party that drew national attention.

Culpepper, currently on injured reserve, Bryant McKinnie, Fred Smoot and Moe Williams each were charged with three misdemeanors for their behavior aboard a boat on Lake Minnetonka, according to court papers.

If convicted, each player faces up to a maximum of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine for each count.

"The night of the incident, there was no shortage of inappropriate behavior on both boats," Hennepin County Sheriff Pat McGowan said.

Prosecutor Steve Tallen charged the players based on an investigation by McGowan's office, which reviewed allegations of lewd and drunken behavior aboard two craft chartered for the outing on Oct. 6.

Crew members were able to identify 17 Vikings among about 90 people on the two boats; McGowan said authorities ultimately identified about 30 Vikings.

The criminal complaints said that after the boats left the dock, crew members noticed many female passengers going to a lower restroom area and emerging in scant clothing.

Culpepper got a lap dance from a naked woman, and put his hands on her buttocks; McKinnie placed a woman on a bar and performed oral sex; Smoot used a sex toy on two women; and Williams got a lap dance from a topless dancer and placed his hands on her breasts.

Smoot and defensive end Lance Johnstone arranged the charter, according to court papers.

"According to NFL rules and union contracts, there is a large difference between allegations and charges and convictions," coach Mike Tice said. "So until at any point there is a conviction of some type, if there is, I have no action to take and nothing to say."

Vikings owner Zygi Wilf was unavailable for comment.

Reports that some women at the party were paid to come from outside Minnesota had raised the possibility of federal charges, but U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger said Thursday that no such charges would be brought.

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