Chmura Charged With Sexual Assault

Tuesday, May 16th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — The lawyer for Green Bay Packers tight end Mark Chmura will not attempt a plea bargain on felony charges he sexually assaulted his 17-year-old baby sitter.

Chmura's lawyer, Gerald Boyle, on Monday criticized District Attorney Paul Bucher for including ``everything but the kitchen sink'' in the criminal complaint against Chmura. Boyle said he didn't know if there was anywhere in Wisconsin where Chmura could get a fair trial.

``This case is almost like Dahmer,'' said Boyle, who defended Milwaukee serial killer Jeffery Dahmer. ``Everyone knows about it.''

The girl told police she was too drunk and shocked to fight him off. ``He is four times my size. What could I do?'' she said, according to the complaint.

The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Chmura, accompanied by his wife, appeared in Waukesha County Circuit Court and simply answered ``Yes, sir,'' when asked if he understood the third-degree sexual assault charge.

Chmura later made a brief statement at a news conference in Milwaukee, saying the last 30 days have been ``hell.''

``Frankly, I'm sick that the DA's office has charged me in any way,'' he said. ``I'm literally fighting for my life.''

He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted. A preliminary hearing was set for May 30.

Chmura, 31, said he wanted to continue playing football, but his lawyer said Green Bay excused him from voluntary camp this week.

Robert Gessert, 43, the party's host, was charged with sexual assault for allegedly fondling an 18-year-old girl, and he also was charged with supplying alcohol to minors.

Chmura was also charged with failing to prevent underage drinking, a misdemeanor.

The charges stem from a party held at Gessert's home early April 9 after Waukesha Catholic Memorial High School's prom.

When police searched Chmura's home April 10, he said the girl's name aloud and added, ``How could you do this?'' according to the criminal complaint. Chmura also said he was being targeted because of his status as a member of the Packers, the complaint said.

The 17-year-old girl told investigators Gessert and Chmura were ``extremely intoxicated'' when they arrived at the home about 3:30 a.m. April 9, the complaint said.

Chmura signed autographs, had his picture taken and was ``showing off'' to boys at the party.

The girl said she, the 18-year-old girl, Chmura and Gessert played a drinking game for an hour, and she got drunk. After the game, Chmura, Gessert and several teens got into a hot tub outside Gessert's home, the complaint said.

The 17-year-old girl told police she changed clothes and began walking down a hallway when she saw Chmura standing by the doorway to a bathroom. She followed him after he motioned to her. She said he took her hand and gently pulled her into the bathroom, where he allegedly assaulted her. She told police she didn't do or say anything because she was drunk and in a state of shock.

Chmura and Gessert were ordered to have no contact with the girls and witnesses named in the complaint. Assistant District Attorney Dennis Kreuger said witnesses have received ``intimidating statements.''

Bucher declined to elaborate, although he did say the statements did not come from Chmura or Gessert.

Chmura, who went to Boston College, joined the Packers in 1992. A fan favorite, he missed all but the first two games of last season with a neck injury. The Packers selected tight end Bubba Franks in last month's NFL draft.