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Hockey Goalie Pleads Not Guilty to Mooning



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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (AP) -- The college hockey player who drew a misdemeanor charge in the mooning of a crowd at Eccles Ice Center pleaded not guilty to a lewdness charge.

Michael Meyer, a player for the University of Southern California, submitted a plea by facsimile machine Wednesday that was accepted by Justice Court Judge David Marx, who hasn't set a trial date, a court clerk told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Police said Meyer rode his stick like a horse, dropped his bulky pants, mooned the crowd and slapped his buttocks during a Feb. 17 tournament game against Brigham Young University.

To prove the lewdness charge, prosecutors would have to show that Meyer exposed his genitals, but police accused him only of showing his buttocks. Prosecutors said they were studying Utah's case law and waiting for Meyer to make his first move with the not-guilty plea.

Justice Court Clerk Landree Robinson said if any trial is held, it's likely to happen in June.

Meyer didn't immediately return a message relayed Thursday by a USC phone operator, who sent him an e-mail. The AP could not locate Meyer in a telephone directory for Hermosa Beach, Calif., where he told the court he lives, or by calling and leaving messages with Meyer families listed in his hometown of Clinton, N.Y.

Meyer was ejected and ticketed for lewdness after an officer who was working security at the North Logan ice rink said he witnessed the scene.

"I had my fill of these refs," Meyer said on an Internet broadcast of the game, according to The Herald-Journal of Logan.

"Hockey's a wild game," North Park police Sgt. John Italasano said at the time. "Sometimes things get out of hand."

Meyer's antics occurred while play was stopped and referees were trying to sort out penalties in the third period of a consolation game in the ACHA West Regional tournament at Eccles Ice Center in North Logan, about 70 miles north of Salt Lake City.

The junior was "riding his hockey stick like a horse and slapping his butt," North Park officer Mike Stauffer said in a report.

After pulling down his pants, Meyer slapped his bare bottom several times, Stauffer said.

The Trojans lost the game against BYU, 6-4. The night before, they'd lost 3-1 to Utah State. USC volunteer hockey coach Mark Wilbur said the incident highlights the frustration that can come with playing tournament consolation rounds early in the morning after a loss far from home.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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