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Packers’ Mark Chmura Is Arrested

April 11, 2000

HARTLAND, Wis. (AP) _ NFL star Mark Chmura was arrested Monday after his 17-year-old baby sitter accused him of sexually assaulting her in a bathroom during a party at which they played a drinking game together.

Robert Gessert, a friend of the Green Bay Packers tight end, also was arrested. An 18-year-old woman accused him of sexually assaulting her in a hot tub at Gessert’s home at the party after a prom, according to court records.

Chmura appeared in court in an orange jumpsuit with his hands bound in chains. Chmura and Gessert were released on $5,000 bail and are due in court May 15.

Chmura, 31, and Gessert, 42, were not formally charged, but Court Commissioner Martin Binn found probable cause that a crime had been committed.

``We’ll continue reviewing the case. We’ll need to gather more information,″ Waukesha County District Attorney Paul Bucher said.

Police are recommending a charge of third-degree sexual assault, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

A search warrant filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court said the 17-year-old girl told police Chmura led her into a bathroom at Gessert’s house early Sunday, locked the door, removed her jeans and underwear and had sexual intercourse with her. The girl knew Chmura because she had baby-sat his children, the warrant said.

The 18-year-old girl accused Gessert of indecently touching her while in the hot tub.

Police Chief Morton Hetznecker said 15 to 20 people were at Gessert’s home, many of them juveniles. The 17-year-old girl told police they were playing a drinking game and Gessert gave her a drink with vodka. She told police she became drunk, the warrant said.

She said Chmura was wearing white boxer shorts and a dark towel. Four pairs of underwear were confiscated when authorities searched Chmura’s home Monday, including white boxers, the warrant said.

Investigators also recovered six towels when they searched Gessert’s home, the warrant said, including a dark-colored towel. Authorities also confiscated vacuum cleaner filters containing hair and other debris from the bathroom floor. Chmura also gave hair and blood samples to authorities, the warrant said.

Chmura was arrested and handcuffed early Monday at his home, where his wife was present, Hetznecker said. Later in the day, Chmura friend John Drana answered the door at the player’s home and said Chmura would have no comment.

Chmura, the married father of two children, joined the Packers in 1992 out of Boston College. He built a home in this stylish community less than an hour’s drive from Milwaukee about a year ago.

An avid supporter of family charities and conservative politics, Chmura refused to meet with President Clinton after the Packers’ 1997 Super Bowl victory and made disparaging comments about the president’s moral character.

Chmura’s lawyer, Gerald Boyle, said his client is cooperating with the investigation. ``We will wait and see what the facts show,″ he said.

Third-degree sexual assault involves sexual intercourse with someone without their consent, according to Wisconsin law. First- and second-degree sexual assault include having sexual intercourse with someone without their consent and using or threatening to use force.

The 17-year-old girl and her mother contacted police Sunday. The teen was examined at a hospital, Hetznecker said.

Packers spokesman Lee Remmel issued a statement Monday from Green Bay.

``As an organization, we are disappointed that Mark Chmura is involved in the type of situation that has been reported,″ the statement said.

The team will monitor the case and had no further comment, the statement said.

Chmura missed most of last season because of a neck injury in the second game. He was at last month’s minicamp, returning from what some feared was a career-ending injury. Chmura is entering his ninth NFL season.

``I’m actually glad I’m here,″ he said at the Packers’ first minicamp under coach Mike Sherman. ``I appreciate things more. It’s been a long year, a long wait. It was good to get out there.″

Last week, Packers reserve running back De’Mond Parker was charged in Richton Park, Ill., with possession of marijuana. He was arrested April 2 after 7 grams of marijuana were found in an automobile in which he was seated, police said.

In February, wide receiver Antonio Freeman was sentenced to a year of probation for obstructing police in a Green Bay traffic accident. Former wide receiver Charles Jordan was fined $5,000 for lying about the accident.


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