Canada

Chmura's wife tells trial that marriage is "solid"

Mark Chmura's wife testified Friday at her husband's sexual assault trial that their marriage was solid and she never heard him say the word "jailbait" to anyone.

Chmura's accuser has said the former Green Bay Packer called her "jailbait" and disliked him, partly because he treated his wife badly.

"I have never been mistreated by my husband," Lynda Chmura said.

Defence attorney Gerald Boyle asked, "Your marriage is solid?"

Lynda Chmura replied, "As a rock."

Mark Chmura's accuser, a former babysitter for his two sons, told police Chmura pulled her into the bathroom during the April 9 post-prom party at his friend Robert Gessert's Hartland home, and had sex with her without her consent.

The girl was 17 at the time.

Chmura is charged with third-degree sexual assault and child enticement, both felonies. He could face up to 40 years in prison and $20,000 in fines if he's convicted. The Packers cut Chmura last June.

On Thursday, high school football player Michael Kleber testified he warned the teen not to go inside a bathroom where Chmura was changing, but she went in anyway with a smile.

He also testified he ran to tell her friends to get her out because he feared she would destroy Chmura's reputation.

"I was worried about what she could be doing to ruin certain people's careers," Kleber, 17, testified Thursday.

Kleber, an All-State offensive tackle from Waukesha Catholic Memorial High School, told Boyle that prosecutors pressured him to change his story to say he didn't remember what happened.

"I figured if I tell them the right things, I'm done," Kleber said. "I didn't have to worry about anything anymore."

Kleber, sticking to his original account, testified the teen and another woman at the party flirted with Chmura during a drinking game.

He said he watched the former NFL star go into the bathroom. He said the teen then appeared in the hallway and walked to the bathroom door.

"I said, 'what are you ... doing' or 'don't even think about it,'" Kleber said he told the teen.

Kleber said she opened the door and walked in as she flashed him a smile.

Chmura's accuser has testified he is lying.

During cross-examination by Waukesha County District Attorney Paul Bucher, Kleber said he ran upstairs to find the teen's friends. He said he was worried about Chmura's career and the teen's well-being.

The teen has testified the attack ended when an 18-year-old woman, who has accused Gessert of fondling her in the hot tub, banged on the door.

Kleber said he saw the teen collapse in Gessert's basement minutes after she left the bathroom and asked her what happened.

She swore on her life, the Bible and her mother's life that nothing did, Kleber said.

He also testified that Bucher and Assistant District Attorney Dennis Krueger told him parts of his story "didn't line up" with other witnesses' versions. He said they threatened to come to his school and take him away in handcuffs in front of his friends if they caught him lying.

He said he then gave a second statement, saying he didn't remember any conversations with the teen and his memory of the party was blurry because he was drinking. Kleber said he did it because he feared legal trouble could cost him a chance to play college football.

Kleber has since accepted a football scholarship to the University of Wisconsin.

Kleber testified he idolized Chmura and followed him around for hours at the party, talking about weightlifting and whether he should play for Boston College, Chmura's alma mater.

Chmura, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, joined the Packers in 1992. He appeared in two Super Bowls with Green Bay, but missed most of the 1999 season with a neck injury.

Gessert has pleaded innocent to second-degree sexual assault and fourth-degree sexual assault. His trial is scheduled for March. If convicted he faces up to 30 years and nine months in prison and up to $20,000 in fines.