RICHMOND, Texas (AP) _ Minnesota Vikings quarterback Warren Moon acknowledged Tuesday that he punched his wife's leg during a fight 10 years ago, but insisted he has never hit her since.

The 39-year-old NFL star took the stand late Tuesday to defend himself against a misdemeanor charge that he assaulted his wife on July 18.

Moon recalled for the four-woman, two-man jury panel a 1986 argument that started when he crossed a freshly mopped floor.

``The next thing you know, there she is, in my face, going crazy about why I walked across the floor,'' Moon said.

Mrs. Moon hit her husband with a mop handle, and when she tried to do it again the 210-pound quarterback caught it and began fighting back.

``I pushed her down and went to jump on top of her,'' Moon said. ``I punched her in her leg, her thigh.''

Under questioning from his defense attorney, Rusty Hardin, Moon then denied hitting her since the 1986 argument or during the July incident for which he is on trial.

Both Moon and wife Felicia have confessed to marital problems and that a fight over Mrs. Moon's credit card spending resulted in a heated argument and a physical tussle on July 18.

Prosecutors rested their assault case Tuesday against Moon after getting Mrs. Moon to acknowledge that she passed up several chances to tell her side of the story.

In earlier testimony, Mrs. Moon repeatedly characterized the Fort Bend County District Attorney's Office as overzealous and not interested in her version of the argument that resulted in scratches and bruises along her neck and shoulders.

Mrs. Moon, 39, admitted she ignored chances to volunteer the complete story to investigators who came to the couple's suburban Houston home, to the media who showed up at the house for a news conference she called three days after the argument, and later when she met with prosecutors.

``I had an opportunity,'' said Mrs. Moon, who was on the stand Friday, Monday and Tuesday.

Under prosecutor Mike Elliott's questioning, she conceded she did not try to correct the publicized version of events detailed in a four-page statement she made to police and in an indictment against her husband.

Moon, a 10-year Houston Oilers quarterback who now plays for the Vikings, faces up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine if convicted of the misdemeanor assault charge.

Elliott tried to have Mrs. Moon's four-page statement admitted as evidence Tuesday, but County Court-at-Law Judge Larry Wagenbach agreed with Hardin, who contended it was inadmissible.

According to Texas law, unless a person who gave the statement refuses to acknowledge the contents, the entire written version cannot be admitted as evidence. However, portions may be read during the trial.

Mrs. Moon never has denied giving the statement, but has said it is incomplete.

One of the most hotly contested portions of the statement is over the words ``chocked'' and ``choked.'' Mrs. Moon's statement uses the word ``chocked'' twice and ``choked'' once, according to portions read to jurors.

She has said her husband ``chocked'' her, explaining he wedged his hands behind her shoulders while holding her down because of her excited state during the argument.

Missouri City Police Detective Andi Wiltse contended Tuesday the word ``chocked'' is a misspelling of the word ``choked.''

Mrs. Moon has testified her husband ``choked'' her while trying to calm her. She said he quickly released his grip once she started coughing and has insisted he did not mean to harm her.

She also said he had never hit her since 1986, when she filed a divorce petition alleging he had assaulted her on three occasions.

But in a portion of her statement read Tuesday to jurors, Mrs. Moon told police: ``Warren has assaulted me before. The last time was about a year ago, about the MasterCard. He thought I was lying about the bill.''