When Fred Smoot invites you on his boat, don’t go unless you’re up for a sex party. This was one of the essential lessons of the October 2005 boat ride for a handful of Minnesota Vikings players, including Daunte Culpepper, Mewelde Moore, and Nate Burleson.
On October 5, 2005, Smoot rented a pair of houseboats on Lake Minnetonka for 16 of his teammates. Smoot, a journeyman cornerback, allegedly flew prostitutes from Georgia and Florida to serve the pigskin players. By Smoot’s calculations, there were 100 women between plying their trades on the two vessels.
We only know a fraction of what went down on the so-called Love Boats, but the details are just as ridiculous as you might imagine.
And it’s important to remember these men were engaging in sexual acts with prostitutes which is, at last check of the Minnesota penal code, illegal. Save for a few misdemeanors, nobody faced serious legal repercussions.
Here’s some of what (reportedly) went down.
From the official criminal complaint, per the Smoking Gun.
Fred Smoot: Was seen holding a double-headed dildo and moving the dildo while each end was inserted into the vagina of two women who were lying on the floor near the lounge area of the charter boat. After a period of time, one of the women got up and Mr. Smoot continued to manipulate the dildo inside the other woman.
Bryant McKinnie: [McKinnie is witnessed] pick up a naked woman, place her on the bar in the lounge and commence to perform oral sex on her. … At a different time during the evening, [witnesses] saw Mr. McKinnie along with three other unidentified males receiving oral sex from four women while the men were seated in deck chairs on the boat.
According to crew members, after everyone was on board, the ladies of the night went downstairs and returned to the deck naked or nearly naked.
Daunte Culpepper, the team’s star quarterback, who was out on injured reserve at the time, was spotted getting a lap dance and fondling a stripper.
And because Smoot and company hired the strippers from out of state, the possibility of federal charged loomed. However, as, certainly, nobody was talking, U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger cited insufficient evidence in not bringing a case.
Indeed, “insufficient evidence” was the name of the game, as little that was alleged in the complaint could be confirmed. There were no line items on Smoot’s credit card statement reading “prostitutes.” As such, the Vikings living up to their pillaging namesakes, got largely unscathed.
This is a story that would have almost certainly resulted in (no pun intended) stiffer penalties today, as the bounty of cell phone pictures and videos from the event would be overwhelming, making the evidence that much more undeniable and the public frenzy that much greater.