Texas A&M wide receiver Kirk Merritt has plead not guilty to indecent exposure charges related to an October 2016 incident in which he is accused of exposing himself to two female tutors. Continue reading for the full story.
According to the Houston Chronicle, one women claimed Merritt exposed and touched himself “while sitting in arm’s reach” of her. Another tutor came forward and claimed a similar encounter with Merritt, where he pulled down his shorts and held himself while nearby.
Both victims said they were “offended by the act of exposure.”
Merritt’s attorney, Rick Davis, told the Houston Chronicle the wide receiver had “a bad case of jock itch.”
“While Kirk is very embarrassed about this situation, and has apologized to the two tutors that he offended, he did not intend to gratify anyone by exposing himself,” Davis said. “The statute Kirk has been accused of violating requires that the Defendant have an intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person and that the Defendant is reckless about whether another may be present who will be offended or alarmed by his conduct.”
Davis argues that Merritt’s actions should be classified under the “Disorderly Conduct statue,” suggesting a defendant is “reckless about whether another may be present who will be offended or alarmed by his act.”
Texas A&M suspended Merritt indefinitely following his November arrest. The suspension was lifted, though, on February 1 after a “university conduct process.” Here is the schools official statement:
Kirk Merritt, a Texas A&M football player, is alleged to have committed two offenses on Oct. 24 and Oct. 25, 2016.
On Oct. 25, the athletics department was notified of the accusations as well as the Title IX Office and the Office of the Dean of Student Life.
On Oct. 28, after receiving the police report, Coach Kevin Sumlin immediately suspended Merritt from all football activities.
On Nov. 8, Merritt was arrested and the athletics department suspended Merritt indefinitely per athletics department policy.
The university conduct process concluded on Jan. 20.
Feb. 1, Merritt’s suspension was lifted by the athletics department after the university action.
Merritt will not participate in the spring game on April 8.
Who Is Kirk Merritt?
Kirk Merritt, a 20-year-old sophomore, was born in Louisiana. He stands 5-foot-11 and weighs 209 pounds. The wide receiver is a transfer from Oregon, who sat out the entire 2016 season under NCAA transfer rules. In 2015, he caught five passes for 61 yards for the Oregon Ducks.