Thursday, February 1
Witness says accuser entered room willingly



WAUKESHA, Wis. -- The teen who accused Mark Chmura of sexual assault flirted with the former Green Bay Packers player at a drunken post-prom party and willingly went into a bathroom with him, a high school football player testified Thursday.

Michael Kleber also testified that prosecutors threatened to arrest him if he didn't change his statement to say he didn't remember what happened.

"I figured if I tell them the right things, I'm done," Kleber, 17, told defense attorney Gerald Boyle. "I didn't have to worry about anything anymore."

Chmura's accuser, a former baby sitter for his two sons, says Chmura pulled her into a bathroom during the April 9 party at his friend Robert Gessert's house, pulled down her pants and had sex with her without her consent.

Chmura, 31, has pleaded innocent to third-degree sexual assault and child enticement charges. He could face up to 40 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.

Testimony is expected to conclude Saturday.

Kleber, an All-State offensive tackle from Waukesha Catholic Memorial High School, testified he was drinking at the party and followed Chmura around for hours.

Kleber told Boyle Chmura's accuser and another teen-ager flirted with Chmura during a drinking game.

He said Chmura kept calling his accuser "Hilary" and she kept telling him that wasn't her name.

"She was extremely nice," Kleber said.

He told police two days later that Chmura's accuser went into the bathroom where Chmura was changing, flashing Kleber a smile after Kleber warned her to stay out of the room.

"I said what are you ... doing or don't even think about it," Kleber said he told the then 17-year-old girl.

Kleber said she put her hand on the knob, opened the door and walked in. Chmura's accuser has testified Kleber is lying.

During cross-examination by Waukesha County District Attorney Paul Bucher, Kleber said he ran upstairs to tell her friends to get her out of the bathroom because he was afraid she would hurt Chmura's career and he was worried about the teen.

Bucher asked him why he didn't pound on the door himself if he was worried.

"She didn't listen to me the first time," Kleber said.

In his later statement to prosecutors, Kleber had said he didn't see Chmura's accuser go into the bathroom and didn't remember specific conversations or observations because he was drunk. Boyle contends Bucher pressured Kleber into changing his original statement.

Pressed by Bucher on the witness stand, Kleber said he couldn't be certain whether the girl knew Chmura was in the bathroom when she went in.

He said he saw the teen-ager collapse in the basement moments after she left the bathroom. He said he got on his hands and knees and asked her what happened. He testified she swore on her life, the Holy Bible and her parents' life nothing happened.

In the cross-examination, Bucher asked Kleber if it was true that he couldn't remember much of the party because he was drinking, as he wrote in his second statement.

Kleber replied, "No, I can remember everything in that house until this day."

Kleber said Bucher and Assistant District Attorney Dennis Krueger told him at a meeting a month after the party his original statement to police "didn't line up" with other witnesses.

The prosecutors told Kleber if he was lying, they would come to his school, handcuff him and drag him out in front of his friends, Kleber said.

Kleber changed his statement because he was afraid legal problems could jeopardize his chances to play college football, he testified.

"I don't want to go to jail for this," Kleber said he told his father.

Chmura, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, joined the Packers in 1992 out of Boston College. He appeared in two Super Bowls with Green Bay, but missed most of the 1999 season with a neck injury. The team cut him in June after he was charged.






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 ESPN's Scott Walker with the latest from the Mark Chmura trial.
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