Accuser says she told Roethlisberger ‘no’
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. (AP) – The young woman who accused Ben Roethlisberger of sexual assault said she tried to get away from the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and told him “no, this is not OK,” according to police documents released Thursday.
In a statement to police the day after the encounter, the 20-year-old college student said Roethlisberger told her, and her friends, to take numerous shots of alcohol. Then one of his bodyguards escorted her into a hallway at the Capital City nightclub, sat her on a stool and left. She said Roethlisberger walked down the hallway and exposed himself.
“I told him it wasn’t OK, no, we don’t need to do this and I proceeded to get up and try to leave,” she said. “I went to the first door I saw, which happened to be a bathroom.”
According to her statement, Roethlisberger then followed her into the bathroom and shut the door.
“I still said no, this is not OK, and he then had sex with me,” she wrote. “He said it was OK. He then left without saying anything.”
Two of the woman’s friends said they saw the bodyguard lead her into the hallway and then saw Roethlisberger follow. They said they couldn’t see their friend but knew she was drunk and were worried about her.
A friend told police she approached one of Roethlisberger’s two bodyguards and said, “This isn’t right. My friend is back there with Ben. She needs to come back right now.”
She said a bodyguard wouldn’t look her in the eye and said he didn’t know what she was talking about.
A few minutes later, the friends said they saw Roethlisberger leave the hallway. When the woman came back, the friends said they asked her what happened and urged her to alert police.
Earlier this week, prosecutors said no charges would be filed against Roethlisberger, who has denied the accusations through his attorney. Ocmulgee Circuit District Attorney Fred Bright said Monday the woman’s accusations could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and that the woman had asked him not to pursue the case. Roethlisberger also is being sued in civil court by a former Nevada hotel employee for an alleged sexual assault in 2008. No criminal charges were filed in that case.
The Georgia woman’s statements were among hundreds of pages made public Thursday by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
In her first statement to police hours after the incident, the woman said she and her friends first saw Roethlisberger at Velvet Elvis.
Steelers president Art Rooney II said Thursday the team is ready to discipline Roethlisberger but that the punishment will be coordinated with the NFL and won’t pre-empt any league action.