Culpepper Charges Dropped

From the day reports of the Vikings boat scandal surfaced, Daunte Culpepper maintained his innocence. On Tuesday, a district court judge agreed -- dismissing the charges.

As expected by many with knowledge of the charges, the case against Daunte Culpepper and his alleged role in last October's boat scandal were dropped Tuesday. Culpepper contended all along that his focus was on a dice game – not the women that were hired as entertainers for the party.

The charges, even when they were first brought, were flimsy – effectively saying Culpepper took part in what amounted to a lap dance. Hennepin Court District Judge Kevin Burke agreed, citing that there wasn't enough evidence of any wrongdoing to proceed on a case against Culpepper.

In a statement released Tuesday, Culpepper maintained what he said from the beginning – that he was innocent and that he would eventually be exonerated.

"I was confident when the legal process began that the truth would come out and I am glad that my innocence has been proven," Culpepper said in the statement. "I greatly appreciate Judge Burke's sensitivity to the damage that can be done to a person's reputation when they are wrongly charged."

The news wasn't as good for running back Moe Williams, who Burke said will continue on to trial.

Two other Vikings players have trial dates already set. Fred Smoot will go on trial May 2, with Bryant McKinnie scheduled for a trial date of June 12.

* For those Culpepper fans that dropped $150 or more for his new No. 11 Dolphins jersey may feel like those fans that bought a No. 18 Randy Moss jersey during the preseason of his rookie year. Pepp isn't going to wear No. 11 in Miami, he'll wear No. 8.
* There is growing speculation that when Onterrio Smith returns from his suspension in May that he will be released by the Vikings as part of Brad Childress' weeding out of players he feels will be a detriment to the team's new direction.

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