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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Culpepper Wants 'Love Boat' Case Dismissed

    [size=18px]Culpepper Wants 'Love Boat' Case Dismissed[/size]

    By JOSHUA FREED
    The Associated Press


    MINNEAPOLIS - A judge agreed that Daunte Culpepper and a former Minnesota Vikings teammate had made a case that they were treated differently than two white men who were not charged as part of a boat party sex scandal.

    Culpepper and running back Moe Williams are seeking dismissal of misdemeanor charges of lewd conduct. The players, both black, argue that prosecutor Steve Tallen passed up a chance to charge two white men, including the captain of one of two boats on the cruise.

    At a hearing Wednesday in Hennepin County District Court, Tallen said he declined to charge the men because the case against them was shaky.

    "I'm allowed to make that decision, and it has nothing to do with the race of these defendants," Tallen said.

    "It looks bad, though," Judge Kevin Burke responded.

    "I am quite convinced that these two guys could have been charged," Burke said.

    Culpepper testified that he spent his entire time shooting dice during a boat party last fall and rejected offers from lingerie-clad dancers.

    Culpepper, one of four players charged with misdemeanor lewd conduct, said he and friends gathered in a circle, betting $20 a throw playing craps.

    "Nobody who was shooting dice wanted to get a dance," Culpepper said. He said he was a designated driver for the evening.

    Culpepper, who was traded last week to the Miami Dolphins, and Williams were in court seeking to have the charges dismissed. Two other Vikings, cornerback Fred Smoot and tackle Bryant McKinnie, weren't part of Wednesday's hearing.

    The October cruise on suburban Lake Minnetonka was swiftly dubbed "Love Boat" after employees of a charter boat company came forward with accusations of lewd behavior, and the Vikings became a target of national ridicule.


    Some of Williams' testimony reinforced crew members' accusations. He described a woman pouring drinks at a bar with her head down, shielding her eyes to avoid seeing naked dancers around her. Williams said he suggested to the woman that the lights be turned down so she didn't have to see what was going on.

    Williams testified that he got a lap dance, but said he was holding a drink in one hand, a bag of his belongings in the other. He said he never touched the woman's breast, as prosecutors say.

    Culpepper's attorney, Earl Gray, argued that even if the two players did get lap dances, it wasn't a crime because such dances happen regularly in Minneapolis.

    Culpepper and Williams also contend that race played a factor in the decision to charge them. Both players are black. They say sheriff's investigators have evidence that a boat captain and another man - both white - engaged in indecent conduct but were not charged. Smoot and McKinnie, also black, did not ask for dismissal on those grounds.

    Prosecutor Steven Tallen has denied that race played a role. He has accused defense lawyers of using race to cloud the real issues. Testimony on that question was expected later Wednesday.

    Culpepper and Williams are accused of touching a naked woman during lap dances; McKinnie and Smoot are accused of other alleged lewd acts. They've all pleaded not guilty. Trials for the four are set for April and May.

    Culpepper was traded this month for a second-round pick, days after he requested to be traded or released.

    March 22, 2006 7:46 PM

    Culpepper Wants 'Love Boat' Case Dismissed

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    Purple Floyd's Avatar
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    Re: Culpepper Wants 'Love Boat' Case Dismissed

    Personally I am glad to see Culp gone, But I am on his side on this whole deal. Whatever he did, if it was consentual,is his business and to me there is no story there. If it was rape,that would be a different story.Heck, I have had a few lap dances in my time. It's not that big of a deal.

    Now the way he played for what he got paid last year, that was a crime.

  3. #3
    purplepride818 is offline Starter
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    Re: Culpepper Wants 'Love Boat' Case Dismissed

    throw him in jail for a couple of years!

  4. #4
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Culpepper Wants 'Love Boat' Case Dismissed

    "purplepride818" wrote:
    throw him in jail for a couple of years!
    :roll: What would you want them to do with Smoot & McKinnie then? Give them life without parole?

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

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    Re: Culpepper Wants 'Love Boat' Case Dismissed

    Judge questions Culpepper prosecutor on race issue

    From ESPN

    MINNEAPOLIS -- Daunte Culpepper's move to clear himself of charges from a bawdy boat party appeared to get a boost Wednesday when a judge forced a prosecutor to explain why he charged black football players but not white men on the cruise.

    The former Vikings quarterback and his old teammate Moe Williams both denied touching strippers during the party on Lake Minnetonka last fall. Culpepper testified that he and several others spent the hour-long cruise kneeling in a circle near the back of the boat betting $20 a throw in a craps game. Williams said a woman danced near him in the boat's hold but he never touched her.


    But race was the central issue on Wednesday.


    Culpepper and Williams are both black, as are the other two Vikings charged in connection with the boat party. Prosecutor Steve Tallen was forced to explain why he didn't charge two white men, including the captain of one of the boats, with similar lewd conduct when they allegedly kissed a stripper's exposed nipple.


    Tallen denied repeatedly that race was a factor. He said the case against the two white men was shaky, and that a sheriff's deputy believed the only witness against the captain was not credible. He also pointed out that he can't bring felony charges -- one of the men allegedly paid the dancer, raising the possibility of a prostitution charge. The Hennepin County Attorney's Office, which would have pursued any felonies, declined to file any charges in the case.


    "I'm allowed to make that decision, and it has nothing to do with the race of these defendants," Tallen said.


    "It looks bad, though," Judge Kevin Burke responded.


    "I am quite convinced that these two guys could have been charged," Burke said later in the hearing.


    The judge said he thought the players had made a case that they were treated differently than the two white men who weren't charged. That left the question of what to do about it. No ruling was expected on Wednesday.


    The race issue could be moot, anyway. Burke was also considering a request by the players' attorneys to throw out the charges because even if they did what the charges allege it wasn't a crime.


    Culpepper and Williams both ignored reporter questions outside the courtroom. But on the witness stand, Culpepper described driving his childhood friend and employee Larry Tucker and a cousin because he didn't plan to drink.


    Culpepper, dressed in a blue suit and tie, said they gathered on a patio near the rear of the boat and started playing craps. He said others playing included running back Mewelde Moore, safety Darren Sharper, and receiver Travis Taylor. Waitresses brought drinks, though Culpepper said he had only one drink that night. Lingerie-clad dancers offered dances.


    "Nobody who was shooting dice wanted to get a dance," Culpepper said.


    The misdemeanor charge against Culpepper accuses him of touching a dancer's buttocks.


    Williams testified that a dancer approached him while he waited to go into a bathroom in the ship's hold. He said he let her, and stood there for perhaps a minute or two while she danced. But he said he never touched her breast as the charges allege, because he was holding a drink in one hand and a bag with his cell phone, wallet and $200 or $300 in dollar bills in the other hand.


    He said he got the $1 bills at the request of a rookie player, who gave him larger bills to exchange at a bank on his way to the boat party. He said he couldn't remember the name of the teammate he exchanged the money for. When Tallen pressed him for a name, Williams said, "Come on, there weren't names on the back of their jerseys."


    Investigators have said they had a tough time finding out who did what on the boats because people who attended the boat party generally have not cooperated.


    Even as the players' testimony questioned the heart of Tallen's case, the general scene described was consistent with the one described by boat employees.


    He said at least one employee seemed to be bothered by all the naked dancers in the boat's bar area, demonstrating how she poured drinks with her head down, shielding her eyes. Williams said he suggested to the woman that the lights be turned down so she didn't have to see what was going on.


    Culpepper's attorney, Earl Gray, argued that even if the two players did get lap dances, it wasn't a crime because such dances happen all the time in Minneapolis. Gray and Williams attorney' Joe Friedberg, also said witnesses who said they saw their clients touching strippers never said the women were naked, as the complaints alleged.


    The two other players charged in the case, cornerback Fred Smoot and tackle Bryant McKinnie, were not part of Wednesday's hearing. McKinnie and Smoot are accused of other alleged lewd acts. They've all pleaded not guilty. Trials for the four are set for April and May.


    Culpepper was traded to Miami earlier this month for a second-round pick, days after he requested to be traded or released.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2379727

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    COJOMAY is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Culpepper Wants 'Love Boat' Case Dismissed

    From the St. Paul Pioneer Press article on the incident:
    http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/sports/football/14163263.htm
    Earl Gray, Culpepper's attorney, said the Lake Minnetonka area is "pretty much a lily-white and rich, wealthy community'
    Can you imagine an attorney saying, "Well North Minneapolis, is pretty much a haven for poor blacks."

    I really wonder who the real racist is here!

    The other development I find humorous is that with his wife in court with him he admits to one crime (shooting craps) to avoid another (lap dancing). I think he's more afraid of his wife then he is of the authorities.
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    Re: Culpepper Wants 'Love Boat' Case Dismissed

    Dance, dice … discrimination?

    Posted on Thu, Mar. 23, 2006

    Dance, dice … discrimination?'Love Boat' lawyers insist race is at heart of charges … and what's lewd behavior, anyway?

    BY ARON KAHN
    Pioneer Press

    The questions sound like dialogue from "Sex and the City,' but the answers will determine whether former Minnesota Vikings stars Daunte Culpepper and Moe Williams stand trial for the alleged indiscretions of the "Love Boat' incident.
    Could a lap dance be illicit? When does touching a woman's breast violate community standards? Does race determine the answers to the first two?
    Hennepin District Judge Kevin Burke began pondering those issues Wednesday at a hearing in Minneapolis.
    The players insisted that they're not guilty of the indecent conduct and lewdness charges against them. Those charges stem from an Oct. 6 Vikings players' boat party on Lake Minnetonka. Burke will decide to make the football stars defend themselves at a jury trial or will dismiss the charges as thin and insubstantial.
    The race issue brought out the most passion of the day from lawyers for the two black players. Earl Gray, Culpepper's attorney, said the Lake Minnetonka area is "pretty much a lily-white and rich, wealthy community' and the incident was receiving undue attention from the prosecutor and public.
    Joe Friedberg, Williams' attorney, said the fact that the prosecutor for the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District did not bring charges against two white men on the boat who allegedly nibbled on a woman's naked breast "can only be a difference in race."
    The prosecutor, Steve Tallen, contended the witness to the incident was not credible, and therefore his only recourse was to charge the players, who are accused of receiving lap dances.
    While not criticizing Tallen, Burke said the contrast "looks bad." He later added that the defense seemed to have established a reasonable case for racial discrimination.
    Earlier in the day, Culpepper maintained that no dancer sat on his lap, as is charged. Rather, he said, he was playing dice with others in the back of the boat and turned away dancers. He said he was "very surprised and shocked' when the charges were leveled.
    Larry Tucker, a boyhood friend and personal aide to Culpepper, corroborated his boss' statements.
    Gray, Culpepper's attorney, said lap dancing is no sin, anyway. "It's part of the public consciousness. People go to bars to have lap dances.'
    When Williams took the stand, he said his only proximity to a dancer was while he waited outside a bathroom. He said she danced next to him, but that he never touched her. A crew member had told police Williams touched the woman's breast.
    Friedberg, Williams' attorney, contended the woman's breast was covered, in any event. "That can't be lewd and lascivious behavior,' he said, adding that thousands of Minnesota men and women would be engaged in such touching Wednesday evening.
    But Tallen said lap dancing, like real estate, is a matter of "location, location, location." A rented cruise boat was not the proper location, he said. Tallen said crew members were not expecting lewd dancing and strippers mixing with patrons.
    "The crew are the people who are the victims,' Tallen said.
    Williamssaid there were naked women dancing on the boat and that some players received lap dances, but he didn't know who they were.
    He also said he was aware of a female bartender who was offended by some behavior. Williams demonstrated how the woman lowered her head and used her hand to shield her eyes while she poured drinks.
    The two players insisted they were named only because they were more recognizable than others on two boats chartered from Al & Alma's Supper Club and Charter Cruises. About 90 people were aboard the boats for a party rookies held for veteran players.
    Tallen conceded that Culpepper and Williams probably were not the most offensive players on the trip, but might have been most easily identified by the crew. Burke is expected to decide by next week whether to dismiss the charges or call for a trial, which would be held jointly for the two on April 18.
    Two other Vikings, Fred Smoot and Bryant McKinnie, also are scheduled for trial. Smoot, charged with using a sex toy on two women, is set for a May 2 trial, and McKinnie, charged with performing and receiving oral sex, is scheduled for May 22.
    Culpepper is now with the Miami Dolphins, and Williams is a free agent.
    Should Burke dismiss the charges against Culpepper and Williams on the race issue, the outcome could affect the situations of Smoot and McKinnie, who also are black.
    All four face fines of $1,000 and 90 days in jail on each count of indecent conduct, disorderly conduct and lewd or lascivious conduct, though prosecutor Tallen said jail time is unlikely.

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    Re: Culpepper Wants 'Love Boat' Case Dismissed

    Culpepper, Williams come to court

    From the Star Tribune

    David Chanen, Star Tribune
    Last update: March 23, 2006 – 12:01 AM
    Printer friendly E-mail this story
    Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper and his wife, Kim, walk to a court hearing at the Hennepin County Courthouse Wednesday.

    Start by having former Viking Daunte Culpepper take the stand for the first time to testify about what happened on that cruise boat on Lake Minnetonka in October. Throw in a few high-powered attorneys, a judge's debate over what constitutes a lap dance and a prosecutor being accused of racial discrimination.
    The drama, played out Wednesday in a Hennepin County courtroom packed with news media and spectators, highlighted a pretrial hearing that could end in a dismissal of the misdemeanor indecent conduct and lewdness charges against Culpepper and former teammate Moe Williams. The recently traded quarterback repeatedly said he never touched a woman or had a lap dance.

    District Judge Kevin Burke said he wouldn't make a decision until next week at the earliest. But he issued a tentative ruling on one of the more controversial motions by defense attorneys Earl Gray and Joseph Friedberg. They argued that prosecutor Steve Tallen selectively charged the two black football players yet ignored a possible prostitution crime by two white men on the boat. Burke agreed the white men could have been charged.

    "The charges against Daunte pretty much destroyed him in Minnesota," Gray told the judge. "This case is totally unfair."

    Before Culpepper took the stand, Gray said there was little evidence other than an ambiguous statement from a bartender on the boat who claimed that Culpepper got a lap dance. This started a somewhat comical discussion between the attorneys and Burke about what constitutes a lap dance in Minnesota and whether it is even illegal.

    "Lap dances are done legally every night in bars in Minneapolis," Gray said. "People pay for girls to dance in front of them and there is usually no touching. There is no evidence Culpepper paid anybody for a lap dance."

    Burke said he didn't believe there was case law in Minnesota that defines a lap dance. Tallen said he could amend the criminal complaint and provide a clear explanation of a lap dance, but he didn't think he needed to spell it out more graphically. The complaint said that a bartender said Culpepper touched a dancer's buttocks with his hands.

    Most in the courtroom were anticipating testimony from Culpepper, who has said little since he, Williams and Vikings players Fred Smoot and Bryant McKinnie were charged with indecent conduct, disorderly conduct, and lewd or lascivious conduct in the boat party in October. But Gray had Larry Tucker, a longtime friend of Culpepper, testify first.

    Tucker talked about playing dice with Culpepper on the boat and said the quarterback was never out of his sight during the one-hour cruise. Tallen raised the possibility that Tucker might be compelled to back Culpepper's story because Tucker is the marketing director for the quarterback's investment company.

    Culpepper, who was traded last week to the Miami Dolphins, said he drove with Tucker and a cousin to the boat. They immediately went to the back, took some tables out to a patio and set up a dice game, Culpepper said.

    They were joined by several players and their friends, shooting for $20 a roll, he said. Several women came by and asked for dances, but "we told them we didn't come here for that," Culpepper said.

    Culpepper calmly claimed he never touched a woman or had a lap dance. He heard no complaints from the boat staff of inappropriate behavior and signed autographs for several employees, he said.

    Williams testified next, saying a woman dressed in lingerie came out of a bathroom in the boat's lowest level and asked him whether he wanted a lap dance. He agreed, but said he never touched her because he had a drink in one hand and a bag with money and personal items in the other. An employee alleged Williams touched the dancer's breast.

    He said other Vikings got lap dances and he could name them if he had a picture roster. He told a bartender shielding herself from looking at the dancers to dim the lights.

    "It's a personal preference, but it seemed reasonable she wouldn't want to see," Williams said.

    Friedberg argued that Williams' actions didn't rise to the level of a crime partly because the allegation happened in an isolated area of the boat and that his conduct couldn't be considered offensive.

    "The testimony hasn't changed what the witnesses saw," Tallen said. "I submit we've made a case."

    After a lunch break, Tallen came under attack by Gray and Friedberg, who alleged selective prosecution. They said he could have charged a captain of one boat who touched a woman's exposed breast with his mouth while piloting the boat. This happened after the manager of a strip club paid the woman, the attorneys said.

    Burke agreed that it appeared Tallen could have charged the men. Tallen said he didn't think he had a strong enough case for charging, including no witnesses.

    "I'm not calling Steve Tallen a racist," Friedberg said. "But there is a component of racial discrimination on who he charged."

    Tallen said it wasn't fun to be accused of "all this stuff." As court adjourned, a media throng followed Culpepper, his wife and others through the County Government Center in Minneapolis to a parking ramp. Culpepper, limping slightly, gave no comment.


    Staff writer Judd Zulgad contributed to this report.

  9. #9
    PurpleAndy is offline Starter
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    Re: Culpepper Wants 'Love Boat' Case Dismissed

    I'll believe that when me sh*t turns purple and smells like rainbow sherbet.

  10. #10
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    Re: Culpepper Wants 'Love Boat' Case Dismissed

    DAUNTE'S TESTIMONY WAS VERY UNCONVENTIONAL
    23 March 2006
    Mike Florio

    In the wake of the decision of Dolphins quarterback Daunte Culpepper to take the stand on Wednesday to deny allegations that he engaged in illegal touchy-feely with a stripper during the Love Boat cruise last October, we've heard from multiple lawyers with experience in criminal matters who were shocked by the decision to let Culpepper talk at this stage of the proceedings.

    "I have never put a client on at a preliminary hearing," said one lawyer. "It is the government's burden to establish probable cause, not the defendant's. Basically, it is their show. Statements made at a [preliminary hearing can] be used in pretrial motions and the actual trial to discredit the witness.

    "Bonehead move, if you ask me. Nothing more than grandstanding."

    Said another seasoned criminal lawyer: "It is almost unheard of for a defendant to take the stand at a preliminary hearing, except occasionally for the limited purpose of a motion to suppress evidence. I have been in the business for over 13 years and I have never seen a defendant take the stand at a prelim[inary hearing] to testify generally about his involvement in an alleged crime. I'll bet Daunte's lawyer did it in order to influence the potential jury pool with pretrial publicity or Daunte insisted because he is trying to keep his wife from kicking him out of the house."

    Either way, the big story coming out of Wednesday's hearing should be that either Culpepper's lawyer did something very stoopid in letting his client testify, or that Culpepper wanted to get under oath and say that he was shooting craps, not grabbing ass, in order to keep his wife's foot out of his own.

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