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Ex-Viking Browner charged with felony sexual misconduct

Former Vikings All-Pro safety Joey Browner was charged Thursday with third-degree criminal sexual conduct _ an offense tantamount to rape in the state of Minnesota.

Hennepin County District Court Judge Harold Crump released Browner, 33, on condition he checks in with the court weekly and avoids contact with the alleged victim.

The felony carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine. Browner's attorney said the six-time Pro Bowler will plead innocent at his next court appearance, April 20.

"It's a pretty simple defense. He didn't do what she's alleging he did, and he's anxious to defend himself," Minneapolis lawyer Michael Colich said.

According to the complaint, the 34-year-old woman had known Browner for five years but had not dated or had a sexual relationship with him. The complaint alleges that Browner and the woman ate a restaurant Jan.

15, then went back to her Minneapolis home. After the two watched television and talked for about an hour, Browner allegedly made advances and raped the woman on the couch after she resisted.

The woman insisted that Browner leave the apartment, the complaint says, then called a friend and 911. Browner later called to apologize, according to the complaint.

Browner, a 1983 first-round draft choice, played nine years with Minnesota and made the Pro Bowl every season from 1985 through 1990. During the 1992 preseason, he was released by the Vikings and the Bucs.

Elsewhere

Bills: Chris Mohr is staying with Buffalo under a three-year, $2-million deal that will make him the highest-paid punter in the NFL. Mohr earned $350,000 last season, ranking 12th among AFC punters with a net average of 36 yards. Away from windy Rich Stadium, his net average was 39.5.

Redskins: Ken Harvey, a free-agent linebacker who played for Phoenix last season, met with owner Jack Kent Cooke, new coach Norv Turner and general manager Charley Casserly at the Redskins' offices in Ashburn, Va. "They've let it be known that they want me; that's a good feeling," Harvey said. "I'm impressed here." Two other unrestricted free agents, Dallas guard-center John Gesek and New England receiver Michael Timpson, also visited.

Lions: Howard Tippett, who spent the past two seasons with the Rams, has been named Detroit's special-teams coach.

Dolphins: Miami waived receiver Scott Miller.

Ex-QB dies: Former NFL quarterback Gary Wood died Wednesday in Melville, N.Y., apparently of a heart attack in his sleep. He was 52. The Giants drafted Wood out of Cornell in the eighth round in 1964, and he played five seasons with New York and one with New Orleans. He spent most of his career as a backup, but he was the quarterback in the Giants' 72-41 loss to Washington in 1966 _ the highest-scoring game in NFL history.

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