Sat, Apr 22, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Minnesota finds Williams guilty of disorderly conduct

AP , MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA

Former Minnesota Vikings running back Moe Williams was found guilty of disorderly conduct on Thursday, the first verdict in a case involving a boat party for players from the National Football League team that prosecutors described as "a floating orgy."

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 Oct. 6 on Lake Minnetonka.

"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 US$300 and ordered him to complete 30 hours of community service that benefits women or children.

The 32-year-old Williams 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.

Prosecutors said women on the boat changed into thong underwear and bras, performed strip tease dances and, in some cases, stripped naked. They said the crew was intimidated.

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

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.

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 said the case against the captain was shaky.

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