Roberts: No one said he wasn't allowed on field
HOUSTON -- The Brit who stripped to a thong and danced a jig on the field before a stunned Super Bowl crowd intends to plead not guilty to trespassing because no one told him he couldn't do it, he said after a court appearance Tuesday.
Mark Francis Roberts, 39, was fully clothed and advertising-free when he visited a county court-at-law in downtown Houston. After he agreed to another hearing on April 22, Roberts told The Associated Press he planned to go to trial on the misdemeanor charge.
Roberts, asked by attorney Sharon Levine not to discuss the case specifically, said he didn't mind the prospect of two more trans-Atlantic flights for the hearing and a trial.
"I like to fly," the Liverpudlian said.
The post-Super Bowl chatter was dominated by halftime performer Janet Jackson's baring of her right breast on national television, although few in the stadium noticed it. Conversely, CBS didn't air Roberts' antics but he was in full view of fans in their seats.
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 Reliant Stadium field in a tear-away referee's uniform, stripped near the kicking tee before the second half began and started dancing and displaying a skin-borne advertisement for an online casino.
Police were slow to react, and Roberts appeared to be running out of dance moves before they finally charged the field. New England Patriots linebacker Matt Chatham leveled Roberts, who was carried from the field by officers.
His sponsor carries images of the incident on its Web site and Roberts does the same on his own Internet page, www.thestreaker.org.uk.
"I'm not charged with streaking," Roberts said.
The contention of Roberts and Levine, who works for famed attorney Richard "Racehorse" Haynes, is that no one told Roberts he was not allowed on the field.
"It's on video, so there's no question as to what happened," Levine said. "It's just a question as to whether he violated any laws.
"Under trespass you're entitled to a warning that entrance is forbidden."
And Roberts said he saw no such warnings.
"Nothing at all," he said.
Police said Roberts got into the game with a legitimate ticket wearing a referee outfit held together with Velcro under civilian clothes. He was charged with criminal trespass and public intoxication.
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.
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. A trial setting likely would come this summer.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press