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  1. #21
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Williams' trial begins today

    [size=18px]Ex-Viking's trial nears finish[/size]

    A jury will now decide Moe Williams' fate on charges in the boat-party case.

    David Chanen, Star Tribune
    Last update: April 20, 2006 – 12:09 AM


    Within days after Jamie Lyons tended bar during the Minnesota Vikings boat party, she wrote pages of detailed notes about all the lurid behavior she said she witnessed. She never mentioned running back Moe Williams getting a lap dance, but Lyons provided specifics about his activity when interviewed by a sheriff's detective.

    Defense attorney Joseph Friedberg used the discrepancy as his final point during the former Viking's trial Wednesday, bellowing out to the jury that Lyons was only giving answers the prosecution wanted to hear. She quietly denied the accusation, but the exchange reminiscent of a "Law & Order" episode included the last words the jury will hear until closing arguments today.

    Then jurors will consider whether Williams is guilty of three misdemeanors, including lewd and lascivious conduct, in the first of three trials of Vikings players.

    Four witnesses were called to the stand, including a co-owner of the boat company who was questioned why her son was involved in a sexual act with a dancer while he was the captain. And race issues once again were raised when the defense attorney challenged the dismissal of a black juror.

    In his opening statement, prosecutor Stephen Tallen came out swinging, describing the Oct. 6 cruise on Lake Minnetonka as a floating orgy. The three misdemeanor charges would hold because the lap dance was in a public place, he said.

    In order for the dance to reach a criminal level, Friedberg countered, there must be proof that Williams intended to negatively affect a person. Everything that happened between Williams and the dancer was consensual, and rubbing her breast on him was "R-rated, not X-rated."

    "Nobody said, 'Don't do that,' " Friedberg said. "Nobody on the boat went to the captain and told him to turn it around."

    Vikings Fred Smoot and Bryant McKinnie were charged with the same misdemeanors of disorderly and lewd conduct, and they will be going to trial later this spring. Charges against former quarterback Daunte Culpepper were dismissed.

    Friedberg told jurors that the Williams case was going to be short and he backed that up by not calling any witnesses, including his client.

    Hennepin County sheriff's detective Charles Kelly testified that the events described by crew members would have shocked anyone.

    The next witness was Merritt Geyen, co-owner of Al & Alma's Restaurant and Cruises. She said she never would have allowed the Vikings to rent the boats had she known what was going to happen. When asked by Friedberg about her son, Chris Geyen, touching a woman's exposed breast with his mouth while he piloted the boat, she said she didn't approve of his conduct. Chris Geyen hasn't been charged.

    Friedberg was quick to challenge the story of crew member Erika Chepokas. She didn't tell detectives she saw Williams getting a lap dance, but during Wednesday's trial she told the jury she saw it happen near the bathroom in the boat's lower level. She saw Williams touching the woman's breast and other parts of her body when she went to get more beer for the guests from a stockroom, she said.

    "The woman was only wearing a G-string and high heels. I was within a foot of them," Chepokas said. "The situation was horrible. I was afraid to tell them to stop."

    The 23-year-old, who recently graduated with a communications degree from the University of Minnesota, said she tried to look away from all the sexual activity happening on the boat's main floor, where she was tending bar, "but it was impossible." At one point she talked to Chris Geyen about what was happening and he looked around the boat, she said. But it's unclear if that's when the decision was made to cut the cruise short and return to shore.

    Like Chepokas, her co-worker Lyons shed some tears as she told about how their boat turned into a strip club minutes after they left the dock. She said she was disgusted about the underwear and used wipes the dancers threw on the floor and that the crew had to throw away after the cruise.

    "I tried to sleep that night, but I was crying and shaking," she said. "I wondered if this was normal. I prayed to God it wasn't."

    Lyons, 20, works as a nanny when she's not working at Al & Alma's. She said she was uncomfortable with the amount of drinking on the boat, including by Williams. Chepokas estimated the bar tab for the two boats was $8,000.

    Six jurors and an alternate are hearing the case, and Friedberg challenged the dismissal of a potential juror. Williams, who is black, shouldn't have to be tried by a "lily-white" jury, Friedberg said.

    Tallen had rejected a black juror, saying he had bad vibes about the man and that he was "less than careful" in filling out the jury questionnaire.

    District Judge Kevin Burke called the prosecutor's reasons for eliminating the juror "suspect, weak and irrational," but said the act wasn't racially motivated.

    Williams has said earlier he never touched the dancer. After court was adjourned Wednesday, Friedberg said the trial was going fabulously.

    "Only an imbecile could lose this case," he said half-jokingly. "I like to put pressure on myself."


    David Chanen • 612-673-4465

    CONTINUING COVERAGE

    Go to www.startribune.com for daily trial updates


    Ex-Viking's trial nears finish

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

  2. #22
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    Re: Williams' trial & updates

    Posted on Thu, Apr. 20, 2006

    [size=18px]Lawyers debate Vikings cruise[/size]

    'Floating orgy' or 'R-rated, not X-rated'? Facts in dispute during trial of Moe Williams

    BY DAVID HAWLEY
    Pioneer Press


    The trial of former Minnesota Vikings running back Moe Williams on indecent behavior charges opened Wednesday with no one disputing the nature of a wild team party that took place last October aboard a chartered boat on Lake Minnetonka.

    The prosecutor called it a "floating orgy," while Williams' lawyer said his client's conduct was "R-rated, not X-rated," amid some unmistakable hard-core activity on the boat.

    Williams, now a free agent, is charged with indecent conduct, disorderly conduct and lewd or lascivious conduct, all misdemeanors.

    Four prosecution witnesses testified in the Minneapolis trial before a six-member jury and one alternate. No defense witnesses were called, and the jury will begin deliberating this morning after the attorneys' final arguments.

    Key testimony Wednesday came from two young female crewmembers who served drinks to Vikings players and a group of women who had been flown in to entertain the men. Prosecutor Steve Tallen contended that the crewmembers were the victims of the behavior that began soon after the cruise ship left the dock on the night of Oct. 6.

    Both women testified that they saw Williams standing in a narrow corridor on the lowest level of the boat while a woman wearing only a thong and high heels performed what they called "dry humping" and "dry grinding."

    They said that Williams touched the woman's breasts and other parts of her body during the dance and that they were forced to squeeze past the couple in order to access a storage area for bar supplies.

    "I had to be so close to it — that was the worst part of it," said Jamie Lyons, an employee of Al & Alma's Supper Club and Charter Cruises. The other waitress, Erika Chepokas, also testified about enduring a similar experience.

    But Williams' attorney, Joe Friedberg, pointed out that neither of the waitresses had initially complained about Williams' conduct with the woman. Instead, the statements they gave investigators focused on activities that took place on the upper decks of the boat, which allegedly included the use of sex toys on naked women.

    The two waitresses acknowledged that Williams spent most of the cruise standing next to the bar, where he consumed as many as six drinks. They said that Williams pressured them into turning the lights off for a short period, but that the incident on the lower deck was the only sexual activity he was observed doing.

    Friedberg noted, in fact, that Chepokas never mentioned Williams in her statements to investigators and that Lyons spoke about Williams' conduct to an investigator only after he asked her to describe activities that were "less extreme."

    Both crewmembers said they had worked for the charter service for a number of years and had never experienced what happened during the Vikings cruise. Both said they were very disturbed by the experience.

    The trial also included testimony from Merritt Geyen, co-owner of Al & Alma's. She said that Vikings player Fred Smoot chartered two boats two days before the cruise and that she had no inkling about what was planned. The cruise was cut short because of the lewd behavior, she said.

    Under cross-examination, however, Friedberg asked Geyen if she was aware that her son, Chris, the captain of one of the boats, had confessed to "nibbling" on the breast of one of the women and had never been charged. Geyen admitted that she knew about her son's activity.

    Smoot and Bryant McKinnie also are charged in connection with the party and are scheduled to be tried next month. Smoot is charged with using a sex toy on two women and McKinnie is charged with performing and receiving oral sex.

    Earlier this month, Hennepin County District Judge Kevin Burke, who is presiding over Williams' trial, dismissed similar charges against former Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper. Burke ruled the prosecutor didn't present enough evidence to justify the charges.

    Wednesday's trial was delayed by a court procedure launched Tuesday when Tallen, prosecutor for the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District, used one of his peremptorystrikes to remove what would have been the only African-American on the jury. Friedberg objected, saying the action appeared to be racially motivated, since Williams is black.

    In a pretrial session Wednesday, Burke said he could not determine if Tallen's reasons for striking the juror involved his race and therefore declined to reinstate the juror. But he cited an earlier development in the case, where Friedberg and Culpepper's attorney had claimed their clients had been charged partly because they were black.

    Burke said his reasons for ruling against seating the juror were credible, but he acknowledged that the dispute had again raised the specter of a racial element in the case.

    "This looks horrible," he said.

    David Hawley can be reached at [email protected] or 651-228-5257.

    Lawyers debate Vikings cruise

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

  3. #23
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    Re: Williams' trial & updates

    VIKINGS ARE NOT FROM MINESOTA, THEY ARE NORSE!!!

  4. #24
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    Re: Williams' trial & updates

    FROM THE WINTERY NORTH WE BRING DOWN PAIN AND THUNDER

  5. #25
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    Re: Williams' trial & updates

    Vibrator - you finally said something right. Oh yeah your mom's a whore!!!

    There s only two things stopping you - fear and common sense!! The Truth you CAN"T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!!!!!!

  6. #26
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    Re: Williams' trial begins today

    "vegasvike" wrote:
    yeah she's 20 and is still a virgin? So if she does anything with her boyfriend I bet she cries for at least a month day and night.
    This whole trial is kinda pointless to me. Unless Moe had one nipp hooked up to a car battery and the other one being gnawed on by a field rodent, a lap dance some stripper consenting to have Moe touch touch her exposed breast mean nothing. Here in town I used to do the samething and nothing happened. but Smoot and the Mountain, well that is something else
    Believe it or not, not everybody loses their virginity at 13. But it doesn't really matter or not how much sexual experience she has. Vegas might be a little out there when it comes to sex (just walk the strip after sundown...), but I tend to believe that the majority of 20 YOA girls in the world have not seen a live sex show before. There is nothing wrong with her being upset by it.

    But I do agree with you on one thing... the trial is pointless to me too. It was deploarable, but not criminal IMHO. Apparently the judge in Moe's trial disagreed with me...
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?

    =Z=

  7. #27
    whackthepack is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Williams' trial & updates

    I can not confirm this because I have not had time but I heard on Kfan that Moe was Convicted on a disorderly conduct charge and AQUITED on the 2 other charges.
    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

  8. #28
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    Re: Williams' trial & updates

    Posted on Thu, Apr. 20, 2006

    [size=18px]Jury: Williams guilty of disorderly conduct in boat party case[/size]

    GREGG AAMOT
    Associated Press


    MINNEAPOLIS - Former Minnesota Vikings running back Moe Williams, charged last fall after a raunchy team boat party that tarnished the Vikings' season, was found guilty of disorderly conduct Thursday.

    A jury found him not guilty of two other misdemeanors - indecent conduct and lewd or lascivious behavior. Williams was accused of touching the breasts of a dancer in a public space during the boat cruise on Lake Minnetonka in suburban Minneapolis.

    "I never intended to do anything that would basically make anybody feel uncomfortable," Williams said after the verdict.

    Hennepin County District Judge Kevin Burke fined Williams $300 and ordered him to complete 30 hours of community service that benefits women or children. The exact program was not immediately determined.

    In finding Williams guilty of just one charge, the jury determined he had touched the woman in view of other people or where other people could see but that he hadn't intended to be lewd or indecent.

    Afterward, Williams complained about being treated unfairly, saying he wondered why the captain of the cruise, who is white, wasn't charged despite evidence that he kissed a dancer's breast. Prosecutor Steve Tallen denied that race was a factor in his decision about filing charges, and he has said the case against the captain was shaky. Williams is black.

    Williams, 32, was the first player tried on charges related to the Oct. 6 party, in which Vikings rookies arranged to take veterans out onto Lake Minnetonka on two boats. Tackle Bryant McKinnie and cornerback Fred Smoot face the same charges and are set to go on trial in May. Charges against former Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper, who has since been traded to the Dolphins, were dropped.

    Prosecutors described the party as "a floating orgy" in which women on the boat changed into thong underwear and bras, gave players lap dances and, in some cases, stripped naked. They said the crew was frightened and intimidated.

    As one witness testified, "After we left the dock, it turned into a strip club."

    The defense didn't counter that characterization, arguing there was, indeed, a wild party on the deck of the "Avanti" - while Williams was enjoying drinks at the bar down below. The defense also didn't deny that Williams had an encounter with a dancer.

    In his closing argument Thursday morning, Tallen compared the case to buying a house, saying "it's all about location, location, location."

    Tallen urged jurors to find Williams guilty because he touched the dancer's breasts in an area near a bathroom where people were coming and going. Two waitresses testified that they saw Williams touch the woman as they squeezed by to get bar supplies.

    Defense attorney Joe Friedberg, in his summary, said Williams didn't intend to break the law or offend anyone and that his encounter with the dancer was brief and in a remote part of the boat.

    "There is an element of intent here, and that's what Moe Williams didn't have," he said.

    Williams didn't testify during the trial, which began Tuesday with jury selection, and the defense didn't call any witnesses. The jury began deliberations around 10:45 a.m. Thursday and reached a verdict around 2:15 p.m.

    Friedberg told jurors Williams didn't deserve "a medal" for his conduct but that it was "minimal" compared with what other players were doing on the deck. As for the dance at issue, "Mr. Williams was having a good time with a woman who was 100 percent consenting," he said Wednesday.

    Tallen said the case didn't hinge on whether Williams' behavior was better or worse than others on the boat. "We're not here to get the really, really bad ones," he told the jury. "We're here to get the ones who broke the law, and the ones who were identified."

    Williams, who spent 10 years in the NFL, injured his knee last season and said Thursday he would probably retire. He lives in Florida.

    Gregg Aamot can be reached at [email protected]

    Williams guilty of disorderly conduct in boat party case

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

  9. #29
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    Re: Williams' trial & updates

    [quote]Afterward, Williams complained about being treated unfairly, saying he wondered why the captain of the cruise, who is white, wasn't charged despite evidence that he kissed a dancer's breast. Prosecutor Steve Tallen denied that race was a factor in his decision about filing charges, and he has said the case against the captain was shaky. Williams is black.

    :scratch: How could it be shaky when he openly admitted it to the public?

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

  10. #30
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    Re: Williams' trial & updates

    April 20, 2006, 11:20PM

    [size=18px]Mixed verdict delivered for ex-Viking in boat case[/size]

    Williams found guilty on 1 count, cleared on 2 others

    Associated Press

    MINNEAPOLIS - Former Minnesota Vikings running back Moe Williams, charged last fall after a raunchy team boat party that tarnished the team's season, was found guilty of disorderly conduct Thursday.

    A jury found him not guilty of two misdemeanors — indecent conduct and lewd behavior. Williams was accused of touching the breasts of a dancer in a public space during the boat cruise on Lake Minnetonka.

    "I never intended to do anything that would basically make anybody feel uncomfortable," Williams said.

    Hennepin County District Judge Kevin Burke fined Williams $300 and ordered him to complete 30 hours of community service that benefits women or children.

    The exact program was not immediately determined.

    In finding Williams guilty of just one charge, the jury determined he touched the woman in view of other people or where other people could see but that he hadn't intended to be lewd.

    Williams, 32, who injured his knee last season, said he probably will retire.

    Mixed verdict delivered for ex-Viking in boat case

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

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