MINNETONKA, Minn. (Feb. 2, 2006) -- A judge set trial dates for the four Minnesota Vikings charged with misdemeanors in a boat party scandal.
Quarterback Daunte Culpepper and running back Moe Williams agreed to be tried together starting April 18. Defensive back Fred Smoot is due to stand trial May 2, and offensive lineman Bryant McKinnie's date is May 22.
All four have pleaded not guilty to charges of lewd and indecent behavior during a party on a charter boat on Lake Minnetonka last October that allegedly featured naked and scantily clad women. The charges include indecent conduct, disorderly conduct and lewd or lascivious conduct.
The players face fines of $1,000 and 90 days in jail on each count, but prosecutor Steve Tallen said jail time is unlikely.
Earl Gray, Culpepper's attorney, said his client and Williams will be tried together because they would face less publicity with one trial.
"The publicity would have been high on the first person tried," said Joe Friedberg, who represents Williams. "The second tried would then be at a substantial advantage or disadvantage. We wouldn't want to take that chance."
None of the defendants appeared at the hearing before Hennepin County District Judge Susan Burke.
The Associated Press News Service
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