The attorney for Texas A&M receiver Kirk Merritt said his client was suffering a bad case of “jock itch” and didn’t mean to offend two academic tutors last October.
In a statement to the Houston Chronicle, attorney Rick Davis said: “Kirk Merritt has been charged with Indecent Exposure under Section 21.08 of the Texas Penal Code because of two incidents during tutoring sessions that happened on two consecutive days.
“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.
“The fact is that Kirk had a bad case of jock itch. 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.
“We think that Kirk’s conduct falls squarely under the Disorderly Conduct statute … That statute requires only that a Defendant is reckless about whether another may be present who will be offended or alarmed by his act.”
A&M officials said Merritt won’t play in Saturday’s annual maroon-white game that concludes spring practice. But they said Merritt already had served a suspension dating back to the exposure accusations. The suspension was lifted in February.
According to A&M,the athletic department was notified Oct. 25 about the allegations that Merritt had exposed himself on consecutive days. A&M said the Title IX office was notified, as was the Dean of Student Life.
Coach Kevin Sumlin, after receiving the police report, Oct 28, suspended Merritt from all team activities. Merritt was in the midst of a redshirt season after transferring from Oregon. He wasn’t eligible to play last fall.
The school said Merritt was arrested, Nov. 8. The school said the conduct process was finished Jan. 20. His suspension was lifted, Feb. 1.
According to the Chronicle, a charge said that one woman told police that Merritt exposed and touched himself “while sitting in arm’s reach” of her “on or about” Oct. 24. A court document said that a day later, another person alleged that Merritt pulled down his shorts and held himself also “while sitting in arm’s reach” of her. The document said both people were “offended or alarmed by the act of exposure.”
Merritt had been competing for a starting job for the fall.