Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

15 Dec 2005

Culpepper Charged in Sex Boat Scandal

Four Vikings have been charged by local prosecutors in connection with the sex boat scandal. Federal prosecutors have declined to press any charges. The four Vikings are Daunte Culpepper, Bryant McKennie, Fred Smoot, and Mo Williams, who were all charged with indecent conduct, disorderly conduct, and lewd or lascivicious conduct.

Posted by: Al Bogdan on 15 Dec 2005

34 comments, Last at 18 Dec 2005, 2:37pm by Will Allen


by sweatervest (not verified) :: Thu, 12/15/2005 - 4:12pm

I really honestly do not care at all what anyone does consensually with other adults. Where Fred Smoot wants to put his genitals is his business, and only becomes my business if he wants to put them near me.

by Kim (not verified) :: Thu, 12/15/2005 - 4:27pm

Personally I don't care about what people do consensually either. Well, I'd probably care if someone was being consensual right in front of me and the parties involved were extremely unattractive.

But I think the only reason that this came to light and charges filed was that certain ship employees were put in a very uncomfortable position and felt threatened. If you're pressuring some minimum wage server to take off their clothes when they don't want to, that's not consensual.

I'll give full credit to the cruise ship owners, who apparently acted in the best interest of their employees rather than their millionaire customers, and immediately returned to dock. With many operations, that wouldn't be the case.

by Jerry F. (not verified) :: Thu, 12/15/2005 - 4:34pm

I for one am extremely interested in where Fred Smoot puts his genitals.

Jerry Foglas
Editor-in-Chief, fredsmootsgenitals.org

by Drew (not verified) :: Thu, 12/15/2005 - 4:34pm

Any legal types on here care to explain the difference between indecent conduct and lewd or lascivicious conduct?

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Thu, 12/15/2005 - 4:36pm

Wonder if Wilf is regretting his promise to have Culpepper on the roster next year?

by Drew (not verified) :: Thu, 12/15/2005 - 4:37pm

Re 3

If I wasn't at work I'd check out your website. Just out of curiosity, you understand. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 12/15/2005 - 4:44pm

Well, I think the attorney representing the business and some of the employees has been a bit of media hound, possibly to lay the foundation for a lawsuit. When it gets to the point that somebody claims, as the lawyer asserted, that they are having recurring nightmares from seeing a drunk having sex with a stripper, either somebody is fishing for a settlement, or somebody needs to toughen up a little.

This in no way excuses boorish behavior, and if somebody did behave in a threatening manner, which does not appear to be part of these charges, that is certainly a much more serious situation. That said, if you're old enough to serve liquor, you oughta be tough enough to see a couple of drunks having sex without having recurring nightmares.

These guys are just lucky that the U.S. Attorney in this matter wasn't a media hound, and didn't blow this thing up to something much more serious.

by sweatervest (not verified) :: Thu, 12/15/2005 - 4:45pm

"Wonder if Wilf is regretting his promise to have Culpepper on the roster next year?"

Not if he wants to keep winning. Most of these charges are going to be dropped and or plea-bargained down anyway.

by Catholic Samurai (not verified) :: Thu, 12/15/2005 - 4:47pm

I wonder if he does that arm-spinning/punch thing after.. ya know...

by MGD (not verified) :: Thu, 12/15/2005 - 4:47pm

re #4

Sex occurs when the nipple makes an appearance.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 12/15/2005 - 4:52pm

mawbrew, the information that Culpepper was likely to be charged with something has been in the wind for some time now. Given that Wilf has a former FBI Agent handling these matters for him now, I'd be shocked if he was unaware. I'd like to know specifically what is alleged, which I suppose will become known once the total complaint is made public this afternoon.

Anybody who sees this as more of an offense against the public that the average drunk driving charge, which many, many, NFL players, including star quarterbacks, have been found guilty of, needs to have a change of perspective.

by Al Bogdan :: Thu, 12/15/2005 - 5:08pm

The Smoking Gun has the complaints.

Warning: the description of the events gets a tad graphic.

by ajn (not verified) :: Thu, 12/15/2005 - 5:35pm


my friends like to call culpepper's little arm dance the "waterwheel", and the thought of a "postcoital waterwheel" makes me excited about next year's loser league team name...

by Ted Max (not verified) :: Thu, 12/15/2005 - 5:41pm

Jerry F., #3 (in combination with #1) is one of the funniest things I've read in my two years on this site.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 12/15/2005 - 5:53pm

It appears that Culpepper and Williams are accused of getting lap dances, during which they placed their hands on the strippers. This is really silly.

McKinnie and Smoot are accused of actually engaging in sexual acts with strippers.

I can see why the U.S. Attorney had no interest in pursuing allegations of transporting strippers across state lines for purposes of transportation. A boatful of men and strippers resulting a few sexual acts isn't really anything worth pursuing.

The lap dance allegations are just stupid. I suppose the prosecutor didn't want to be accused of going easy on Culpepper, and since Moe Williams got a lap dance as well, he got caught up too.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 12/15/2005 - 6:00pm

make that "purposes of prostitution"

by The Load (not verified) :: Thu, 12/15/2005 - 6:26pm

Are any of those players married/have kids?

by johonny (not verified) :: Thu, 12/15/2005 - 7:16pm

One wonders if the Vikings will willingly try to move Culpepper in the off season. One has to think there will be interest even if he has injury/criminal problems. This could be a buyers market this off season with injured but possibly productive players like Griese and Culpepper possibly available. Brooks looking for a home and Philip Rivers almost certainly on the market.

by jds (not verified) :: Thu, 12/15/2005 - 7:55pm

A couple of points on this. First, if I were a prosecutor, I would be embarrassed to have to prosecute the Culpepper complaint. That's all he did? and you prosecute for that?

Second, the McKinnie complaint is kind of funny in a couple of respects. He and 3 other unidentified guys were seen in a certain "situation". Unidentified guys were not charged. Sometimes it is not so bad to be an anonymous lineman (or other non-marquee position).

Lastly, Culpepper is not going anywhere in the offseason, although his endorsement deals will probably take a hit.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 12/15/2005 - 8:30pm

Yeah, jds, I wonder how many men in Hennepin County law enforcement have attended a stag party where they received a lap dance and touched the stripper, and if that becomes grounds for dumping a player, well, it's going to be very active off-season throughout the NFL.

That people even think about dumping Culpepper over this shows how little people actually think these things through. Lemme get this right; a guy like Alex Smith excels at Utah in the Mountain West conference, and an NFL team is willing to guarantee the dollars that he received in his first contract, but a guy like Culpepper, who has appeared in three pro bowls, is gonna get his contract, with a six million bonus coming up, dumped because he got a lap dance? Culpepper ain't going anywhere.

by sweatervest (not verified) :: Thu, 12/15/2005 - 8:57pm

"One wonders if the Vikings will willingly try to move Culpepper in the off season."
No way in hell. Brad Johnson is old and terrible, and behind him they have two 4th year veterans who haven't ever taken a meaningful NFL snap. Culpepper is a more proven commodity and a better player than any other option the Vikings have or figure to have this offseason. Making a QB change would be disastrous, especially considering that Sharper and Pat Williams won't be around by the time some youthful project either develops or fizzles out. If the Vikings can shore up their offensive line then by this time next year Culpepper will be earning a ProBowl trip and this boat crap will be forgotten.

by joel in providence (not verified) :: Thu, 12/15/2005 - 9:41pm

page 4 of that criminal complaint (aka "Fred Smoot and the Double-Headed Dildo") should be required reading for any NFL fan. my favorite part of it had to be when the girl got up and tried to walk away, but smooty just kept on "manipulating" his favorite toy.

way to play to the whistle, freddie!

by Stevie (not verified) :: Thu, 12/15/2005 - 11:56pm

I think the most disgusting thing about this is Bryant McKennie "allegedly" PERFORMING oral sex on a prostitute. Err Brian just think abot where that thing had been Christ

by Theo (not verified) :: Fri, 12/16/2005 - 8:43am

Only in America

by Gatts (not verified) :: Fri, 12/16/2005 - 11:07am


That's an allegation that has to be false - black men don't give oral!

by CJ (not verified) :: Fri, 12/16/2005 - 12:27pm

Sounds like McKinney has read Semi-Tough once too often (an O-linemen did the same thing with 4 women in the book.)

And #25, my wife says don't believe everything you hear.

by Falco (not verified) :: Fri, 12/16/2005 - 5:25pm

This is such a farce. Culpepper getting a lap dance and putting his hands on the woman's buttocks? please.

If it was not Daunte Culpepper, this would not have been charged. Notice there is also only one witness listed to Culpepper, and it is in the same general area as the Smoot escapades.

A couple of other points. One, they rented the boat, so they were in legal possession of a private boat. I am not sure you can be a public nuisance on the interior of a private boat, but I dont know Minnesota law. Two, if others are engaging in acts way more severe in this private setting, is Culpepper really engaging in disorderly conduct, likely to REASONABLY shock those around him, including the complaining witness, or gee, might Smoot's actions, to which this person is also listed as a witness, be the shocking actions. If Culpepper, like probably 50% of the players in the NFL, does this same thing in a gentlemen's club in the same jurisdiction, it is not a crime in that private setting.

This prosecutor is a disgrace.

by otisthepug (not verified) :: Fri, 12/16/2005 - 5:48pm

Falco, Falco....

If they had rented the boat in the sense that they were given the keys and told to be back in three hours, there would not be an issue. As long as they don't go out on deck in sight of other boats, it's okay, anything goes.

But they didn't rent the boat in that manner. It was more like they paid admission to ride as passengers on a floating restaurant. There was a crew, to run the boat, serve food, and pour drinks. It was a public place, because there were members of the public (the crew) there.

That's the difference. It's not what they did that is the problem. Athletes do that type of thing all the time, I'm sure. The problem is where they did it, and their arrogance in thinking it was okay to subject 18 year old female crew members to witness those activities.

by Falco (not verified) :: Fri, 12/16/2005 - 7:45pm

I agree with you that if they were members of the general public “paying admission�, then it is different. This is what NFL fans do when they buy tickets to a game. They have a non-exclusive right to enter the premises, but certainly cannot exclude others from doing so as well. I highly doubt this is what occurred here. I don’t think this was a “$20 per person� situation, where you or I could have also walked up and plopped down the admission price to ride the boat. I suspect this involved a large sum of cash in exchange for private and exclusive use, enjoyment and possession of the boat, while the owner provided the bartender/wait staff and crew as part of the price.

Two scenarios: In the first, I rent out a private building for a private, invitation-only party, and separately hire my own bartenders and bouncers. In the second, I rent out a private building for a private, invitation-only party, and agree to use the premises’ owners’ bartenders and bouncers. Does the distinction between the first and second make it a public place? I don’t think so. These waitresses were employees of the private property owner. I have no problem with the business owner and crew deciding to end the evening because the vessel was being used differently than expected. That is their right as a private business to cancel the deal. I do have a problem with the prosecutor bringing charges against Culpepper based on the flimsy facts and the wording of the statutes pled.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Sat, 12/17/2005 - 4:10pm

Folks, to engage in 10 week investigations for the purpose of bringing charges that somebody received a lap dance, and placed his hands on the stripper, at a private party on a chartered boat with crew provided, is beyond absurd. If this becomes a common activity for law enforcement across the country, many thousands of people need to be hired to oversee many bachelor parties which occur across the land.

by NF (not verified) :: Sat, 12/17/2005 - 6:40pm

If they are convicted, will the NFL place a mandatory suspension on them? And how long?

by B (not verified) :: Sat, 12/17/2005 - 10:02pm

Probabally 4 games like Jamal Lewis got.

by Josh (not verified) :: Sun, 12/18/2005 - 12:15am

B - I don't actually know, but I would think that the suspension for a misdemeanor, if anything, is less than for a felony like Lewis committed

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Sun, 12/18/2005 - 2:37pm

I don't hink the NFL is giving mandatory four game suspensions for a first drunk driving conviction, which is an offense so much more serious than what is alleged here (even considering what McKinney and Smoot are accused of), that it is nearly ridiculous to compare the them.

There is such a lack of perspective in this whole matter that it beggars belief. The only real danger these guys faced was if the Federal Prosecutor in that district had decided that it was good for his career to pursue a case of transporting women across state lines for purposes of prostitution. Since some of the strippers have publicly stated that they had no impression or information that they were traveling to Minneapolis for that purpose, the prosecutor for the district likely that going after this was not a career-bolstering move.