MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Kirby Puckett's sexual assault trial began Monday, with the Hall of Famer accused of dragging a woman into a restaurant men's room and groping her.
Prosecutors contend the former Minnesota Twins star grabbed the woman's breast before she escaped from the bathroom at the Redstone American Grill in suburban Eden Prairie on Sept. 6.
Puckett is charged with false imprisonment, criminal sexual conduct and assault. As proceedings began, he pleaded innocent to the misdemeanor assault charge, which prosecutors added last week.
If the jury finds Puckett guilty on all charges, prosecutors have said they will seek probation, fines, community service and no more than a year in jail.
The 42-year-old Puckett, once one of baseball's most beloved players, sat between his lawyers and showed little emotion as jury selection began. Opening statements and testimony could begin late this week. As he left the courthouse for lunch, a well-wisher said, "Kirby, I hope you can get some peace." He replied, "Thank you" and kept walking with his lawyers to a car.
Judge Stephen Swanson ruled the defense can present testimony that the woman bared her breasts in the restaurant. The woman denies doing it.
A key witness for the prosecution says he saw Puckett drag the woman into the bathroom. The man told prosecutors he drank six or more beers in the three hours or so before, but he contended that didn't affect his ability to accurately recall events.
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