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Roethlisberger accused of sex assault in lawsuit
By SCOTT SONNER, Associated Press Writer 11 minutes ago
RENO, Nev. (AP)—A woman has filed a lawsuit accusing Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger(notes) of raping her last summer in his penthouse room at a casino in Lake Tahoe during a celebrity golf tournament.
Roethlisberger’s lawyer adamantly denied the allegations Tuesday.
“Ben has never sexually assaulted anyone. The timing of the lawsuit and the absence of a criminal complaint and a criminal investigation are the most compelling evidence of the absence of any criminal conduct. If an investigation is commenced, Ben will cooperate fully and Ben will be fully exonerated,” David Cornwell said in a statement.
The claim seeks at least $390,000 in damages from the quarterback, who has won two Super Bowls and is one of the biggest names in sports. The lawsuit also alleges hotel officials for Harrah’s Lake Tahoe went to great lengths to cover up the incident.
Teresa Duffy, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office in Douglas County, which includes part of Lake Tahoe, said no complaints were filed about such an incident either with sheriff’s deputies or the district attorney’s office.
The woman’s lawsuit says she didn’t file a criminal complaint because she feared she would be fired and expected Harrah’s would side with Roethlisberger.
The woman said she had been promoted from VIP shift manager and was working as an executive casino host when Roethlisberger struck up a friendly conversation at her desk during the golf tournament.
The next day, July 11, 2008, she said he telephoned her to tell her his television sound system wasn’t working and asked her to look at it.
She said she was unable to find a technician so she decided to handle it herself because she had been told how important it was to please celebrities.
In Roethlisberger’s room she said she determined the TV was functioning properly but as she turned to leave but the 6-foot-5, 240-pound quarterback stood in front of the door and blocked her, the suit claims.
The lawsuit said he then grabbed her and started to kiss her. It said she was “shocked and stunned that this previously friendly man, that appeared to be a gentleman in her previous contacts with him was suddenly preventing her from leaving, was assaulting her and battering her.”
She said she feared that because he was a football player he could or would physically harm her if she tried to fight him off but that she objected and protested several times.
“But instead of stopping, Roethlisberger began fondling plaintiff through her dress and between her legs,” the suit said. He then “held her against her will and physically moved plaintiff and pushed her onto his bed” where he raped her, the suit says.
She told him “You don’t want to do this,” and begged him “I am not on any type of birth control.”
Afterward, he asked if there was a security camera in the hallway. She said he then instructed her to claim she had repaired his television if anyone asked why she was in his room.
The lawsuit says the woman required hospitalization for treatment for depression after the alleged attack.
The woman’s lawyer, Calvin R. Dunlap, of Reno, declined to answer questions about the lack of a criminal complaint and why the civil action was brought a year after the incident allegedly took place.
“Neither I nor our client will be making any comment,” Dunlap said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “We believe the matter should be resolved in court rather than in the media.”
The lawsuit also names eight Harrah’s employees as defendants and alleges the cover-up involved the chief of security at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe and was carried out with the knowledge of John Koster, president of Harrah’s northern Nevada operations.
John Packer, spokesman for the hotel-casino, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
The suit says Harrah’s security chief Guy Hyder gained the trust of her parents while she was hospitalized for depression and persuaded them to give him a key to her home. She said Hyder and others then entered her home and allegedly erased information from her computer and confiscated it.
The lawsuit claims that when the woman first reported the attack to Hyder he dismissed her distress and crying and said she was “overreacting.”
The woman said Hyder told her that “most girls would feel lucky to get to have sex with someone like Ben Roethlisberger” and that “Koster would love you even more if he knew about this” because Koster was good friends with Roethlisberger and admired him greatly.
Steelers spokesman Dave Lockett said Tuesday the team is aware of the lawsuit, and “we are gathering information.”
I believe it.
Sounds like she is tired of working and wants a free ride. A year later what a joke!!!!!!!!
I too wonder why she waited a year. If it happened why not go get a rape test? If you want to prove he's guilty some IRON CLAD EVIDENCE would help a bit instead of this BS a year later. And if he did this, why not scream for help at the time or if she wouldn't actually get help, tell a friend about it later that day. Just another money grubbing whore who wants to make us go through the whole Kobe Bryant thing again. Besides, pro athletes like Kobe and Ben don't need to rape anyone because they are rich and famous and can have just about any woman they choose. It's not like Ben is has a history of this kind of behavior...
JB how did you get that gif on there for crissake?
Mr. Super Bowl
If it is bet, they will take it.
He's stupid and guilty as sin until he proves himself innocent in my book.
I say hang him and worry about legal matters later.
On the other hand, if this ho is making this love up, I say stone her or give her the same punishment Big Ben was gonna get if he was guilty.
Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
Avatar: My cuzin Isaac Murphy - a jock I'm tying to emulate in character and winning percentage - almost 47% lifetime.
Waited a year? GOLD-DIGGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Authorities won't look at Roethlisberger
RENO, Nev. -- Law enforcement officials in Nevada have no intention of opening a criminal investigation into allegations Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger raped a woman at a Lake Tahoe hotel-casino a year ago, the sheriff's department said Wednesday.
Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Teresa Duffy said the accuser would have to file a criminal complaint to trigger an investigation into the incident the woman says occurred during a celebrity golf tournament last July while she was working as an executive VIP casino host at Harrah's Lake Tahoe.
"The victim is the only one who can do that," Duffy told The Associated Press. "Unless there was a third party that actually witnessed the incident, which according to the civil case, was not the case here."
The 31-year-old Nevada woman has filed a lawsuit saying the Super Bowl winning quarterback raped her in a hotel penthouse across the street from the golf course, a claim his lawyer vehemently denies.
She also accuses Harrah's officials, including the casino's chief of security, of orchestrating a cover-up of the incident she says she reported to him the next day. The lawsuit alleges Harrah's officials worked to silence her and undermine her credibility rather than investigate her claims.
The woman, a native of Canada who had worked at Harrah's Lake Tahoe hotel-casino since 2003, never went to outside authorities with her story, and it's unclear why she decided to file the lawsuit seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars a year after the alleged incident.
Her lawsuit says she didn't file a criminal complaint because she feared Harrah's would side with Roethlisberger -- a friend of the hotel-casino's regional president John Koster -- and she would be fired.
She said the security chief, Guy Hyder, told her she was "overreacting," that "most girls would feel lucky to get to have sex with someone like Ben Roethlisberger" and that "Koster would love you even more if he knew about this."
The lawsuit said she was treated between last August and December at five different hospitals for depression and anxiety stemming from the alleged assault, and returned to work each time after treatment.
She sought legal counsel in March after Harrah's officials told her Roethlisberger was invited to play in the 2009 celebrity golf tournament and ordered her to take a paid two-week leave during the event, the lawsuit said, "to accommodate her assailant." The tournament took place last week.
Cal Dunlap, the Reno lawyer who filed her lawsuit in Washoe County District Court on Friday, said neither he nor the woman will comment.
Dunlap is the former county district attorney who also represents Nevada first lady Dawn Gibbons in divorce proceedings against Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons. Dunlap refused to discuss the woman's whereabouts.
On Wednesday, she was not at the property where she has been living in rural Douglas County. The old dairy farm about 20 miles from Lake Tahoe has a main farm house and several outbuildings, some of which appear to be rented out as apartments.
In a statement earlier this week, Roethlisberger lawyer David Cornwell said: "Ben has never sexually assaulted anyone. The timing of the lawsuit and the absence of a criminal complaint and a criminal investigation are the most compelling evidence of the absence of any criminal conduct."
Harrah's officials said they do not comment on pending legal matters.
The lawsuit seeks a minimum of $440,000 in damages from the quarterback, at least $50,000 in damages from eight Harrah's officials and an unspecified amount of punitive damages "sufficient to deter" Roethlisberger and the others "from engaging in such conduct in the future."
Meanwhile, Roethlisberger intends to stick to his plans to participate in Shaquille O'Neal's new reality TV series. He canceled a news conference set for Thursday to promote the show, but ABC spokesman Edwin Escobar said in an e-mail Wednesday that production will proceed as scheduled Friday.
In the show "Shaq Vs." debuting Aug. 18, Roethlisberger is one of the athletes the NBA star will challenge in their respective sports.
Roethlisberger has twice led the Steelers to Super Bowl victories in his five-year career and is one of the biggest names in sports.
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