[size=18px]Vikings: Attorneys request dismissal of cruise charges[/size]

Last update: April 22, 2006 – 7:41 AM

At a pretrial hearing Friday, attorneys for Minnesota Vikings Fred Smoot and Bryant McKinnie discussed motions to dismiss charges against the players stemming from a cruise on Lake Minnetonka in October.
They have been charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct, indecent conduct, and lewd and lascivious behavior. Smoot has been charged with using sex toys, and McKinnie is accused of performing oral sex in front of crew members.

Joseph Tamburino, Mc- Kinnie's attorney, said in his motion that the player was singled out for charges because he's a member of the Vikings. Prosecutor Steven Tallen said it was the first time that he had heard that being a member of a professional team is a protected class.

Tamburino's motion also questioned the vagueness of the indecent conduct statute and said that McKinnie's actions on the boat didn't meet the level of lewd and lascivious conduct because it was between consenting adults who had no reason to believe it was illegal.

Smoot's attorney, David Valentini, raised similar issues about the statutes in his motion. He added an additional issue: Whatever happened on the boat should be considered to have been done in private since the party was not for the public.

Former Vikings running back Moe Williams was convicted of disorderly conduct related to the cruise. Similar charges were dismissed against former quarterback Daunte Culpepper.

Hennepin County District Judge Robert Lynn is expected to rule in three weeks.

DAVID CHANEN

Vikings: Attorneys request dismissal of cruise charges