posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 05:32 PM
HOUSTON (AP) - It's time for the courts to get to the naked truth about the Super Bowl streaker. Mark Francis Roberts, 39, went to trial Monday on a
single misdemeanor trespass charge for his post-halftime jaunt onto the Reliant Stadium playing field Feb. 1 as the second half of the game was about
"I'm going to tell you this will really be a fun case,"
Harris County Court-at-Law Judge Diane Bull told 30 prospective jurors before they
heard some details about the Brit's scantily clad adventure in his first trip to Texas. Jury selection was punctuated by several chuckles and guffaws
as lawyers whittled the panel down to six women who were to begin hearing testimony later Monday.
Roberts, who galloped onto the field in a faux referee's costume then stripped to a football-shaped codpiece before dancing a jig, is not charged with
anything besides criminal trespassing. He faces up to six months in jail and up to a $2,000 fine if convicted.
The better-known halftime incident occurred during the musical shown when singer Janet Jackson's right breast was exposed on worldwide television.
Most of the packed stadium didn't notice that, but they did get an eyeful of Roberts as he strutted for nearly a minute before getting tackled by New
England Patriots linebacker Matt Chatham and arrested by Houston police.
The Internet gaming company that sponsored Roberts' performance carries images on its Web site and Roberts does the same on his own Internet page,
www.thestreaker.org.uk. Roberts and defense lawyer Sharon Levine, who works for famed attorney Richard ``Racehorse'' Haynes, argue no one told Roberts
he was not allowed on the field and that a knee-high barrier in front of his front-row seat was no indication he shouldn't advance.
"There is no fencing to exclude intruders,"
Levine said during opening statements.
Prosecutor Kristin Guiney countered that while the NFL and Reliant Stadium had no signs or warnings on ticket stubs, the barrier and the sizable drop
to the field made it obvious under the law.
"He had notice by virtue of that 6[-foot wall (around the field) that his conduct and his presence on the field were forbidden,"
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.
His Super Bowl moment, which Guiney called his 'Holy Grail' of streaking was his first North American performance.