Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Minnesota Vikings Players' Sex Boat Party

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Department is investigating allegations of criminal sexual conduct by Minnesota Vikings players after a boat cruise on Lake Minnetonka devolved into an out-of-control party that included lap dances and sexual acts, according to an attorney for the charter boat company.

Stephen Doyle, a lawyer representing the owners of Al and Alma's, a company that charters cruises on the lake, said cornerback Fred Smoot and another Vikings player, whom he declined to name, reserved a charter for a night-time excursion last Thursday.

A woman called Mound police Thursday night to report allegations of "possible prostitution, drugs and live sex acts" on the two boats. According to the police report, the woman said she and her brother's girlfriend served as hostesses on the ships. Doyle said he didn't learn details of what allegedly happened until he sat down Tuesday with six of the eight crewmembers.

Doyle said about 90 people were on the two boats. According to a Vikings player who spoke on the condition of anonymity, about 15 Vikings players were on a charter as part of what he described as a "team event." The player said that he was unaware of any sexual acts and that the cruise lasted less than 90 minutes. Doyle said he believed it to be a tradition for Vikings rookies and first-year players to take their teammates out.

Contacted Tuesday afternoon, Smoot indicated that the allegations are exaggerated.

"It's slanderous," he said. "If (Doyle is) bringing my name up like this, I'm going to sue them. Other than that, I ain't got nothing else to say."

Asked if he was denying involvement in the allegations, Smoot said, "It ain't even what they're talking about." Doyle said further details will be released in the coming days.

"I actually have the names of about 16 or 17 other Vikings that my crew believe were on board," he said, "and a number of them they would be inclined to describe as being involved in these activities. The reason I'm holding off on this answer is two-fold.

"One is, when the particulars of this story come out, I think it's going to be perceived by most people as just horrendous. I want to be very, very careful that we not put a name out there of somebody who wasn't there because the implications, I think, will be serious. Secondly, not everyone (who) was on board (who) was a Viking participated in this. My crew members tell me there were a couple of them that kept saying, `I'm sorry.' ... There were players that were embarrassed by it."

The Vikings released a statement Tuesday night, saying, "The organization has been made aware of the allegations involving our players, and we take these allegations very seriously. We are working diligently to gather as many facts as possible. At this time, we have no further comment."

According to Doyle, the boats were chartered from 8:30 p.m. to midnight, but pushed off about an hour late.

"They were out for a bit, and then the crew was serving drinks and hors d'oeuvres and stuff," he said. "I think the first thing they noticed was some of the women that were on board seemed to be either changing clothes or undressing. And then they went into a galley, and there were three of them in the nude that were changing clothes. That was followed by them coming out and some of them doing lap dances. ... That's where it started, and then it just progressed to just bizarre."

Doyle said the crew, in accordance with company policy, reported what was happening to the captain of each boat, who called the home base and were told to come back in.

"Now they're still 40 minutes out, and they're getting frightened," Doyle said. "Some of the Vikings are yelling at the waiters and waitresses ... and wanting drinks faster and trying to take over parts of the bar, trying to pour their own drinks. ... It's just really bizarre, bad, terrible behavior.

"Like I said, these kids are petrified. They're afraid for their own safety. There are people doing sexual acts with toys in the middle of the floor. They're on a boat here, having to walk around and serve a drink, afraid to stop serving drinks because they're afraid that people will hurt them. It's just really unacceptable what they did - the arrogance and the rudeness and all of those things combined.

"They get them into the dock and eventually get off the boat. We're talking about a scene with used condoms on the boats laying around, handy wipes used by the women laying around, drinks thrown and poured in places. It's amazing."

Doyle said he was busy with media interviews Tuesday and hadn't provided the names of any Vikings players to police, but was trying to set up a meeting with them Wednesday. He also said he placed a number of calls to the Vikings' offices but didn't receive a reply.

An NFL spokesman declined to comment on the allegations against Vikings players, but the league's personal conduct policy clearly states that league employees can be subject to discipline.

"Engaging in violent and/or criminal activity is unacceptable and constitutes conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football League," the policy summary reads. "Such conduct alienates the fans on whom the success of the league depends and has negative and sometimes tragic consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator."

People charged or arrested with conduct prohibited by this policy will be "required to undergo a clinical evaluation and, if appropriate, additional counseling or treatment as directed."

Failure to comply with evaluation and counseling obligations could be considered conduct detrimental to the NFL, punishable by "fine or suspension at the discretion of the commissioner."


1 comment:

PB said...

I wonder if this will influence their end-zone celebrations.