Roberts to go on trial for misdemeanor
Thursday, April 22, 2004
HOUSTON -- More than 70,000 people caught Mark Roberts' last performance in Houston. Only six will be needed for the next one.
Roberts, the 39-year-old Brit who shed a phony referee's uniform on the field at the Super Bowl and danced a jig in nothing but a thong, intends to go to trial June 21 on a misdemeanor trespassing charge.
"I wonder how many witnesses they'll call?" Roberts told The Associated Press on Thursday while watching defense attorney Sharon Levine set his trial date with a county court-at-law judge in a Houston courtroom. "I mean, they could call tens of thousands."
His case will be heard by a six-person jury. If convicted of the Class B misdemeanor, Roberts could spend up to six months in jail and pay a fine of up to $2,000.
Roberts' performance Feb. 1 was clearly visible to fans shortly before the start of the second half but was not shown by CBS, which was still reeling from Janet Jackson's surprise breast-baring during the musical interlude.
Plenty of other cameras captured him, however, and his stunt was shown repeatedly on television and on the Internet after the game.
Roberts doesn't deny he was the one who darted onto the field in a tear-away striped uniform, stripped near the kicking tee before the second half began and started dancing while displaying a skin-borne advertisement for an online casino.
Police were slow to react, and it was New England Patriots linebacker Matt Chatham who leveled Roberts before officers carried him off the field.
The Liverpool man's Web sponsor carries images of the incident on its Web site and Roberts does the same on his own Internet page, www.thestreaker.org.uk
Roberts and Levine, who works for famed attorney Richard "Racehorse" Haynes, intend to argue no one told Roberts he was not allowed on the field.
His court appearance Thursday came two days after a man pulled a similar stunt Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park during the Houston Astros' game against the St. Louis Cardinals. One difference was that the baseball streaker was naked.
"That's rude isn't it?" Roberts said with a grin. "The man's got no class."
Police said Roberts got into the Super Bowl -- and through several layers of security -- with a legitimate ticket. He wore a ref's uniform under civilian clothes, and both outfits were held together with Velcro to allow for a quick strip.
According to his site, Roberts has streaked more than 300 times. He has cases pending in Paris and back home in Liverpool, and his Super Bowl moment was his first North American venture.
I guess a lot of people forgot about this because of the Janet Jackson thing... apparently this guy has streaked 300 times in the past 10 years and is in the Guiness Book of world records. He even has his own website.. funny stuff.