Tuesday, March 30, 2004
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,
"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
"Under trespass you're entitled to a warning that entrance is
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
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.