Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ben Roethlisberger accused of raping woman last summer in Nevada

Amid reports that Ben Roethlisberger had been sued by a Nevada woman for things ranging from sexual assault to defamation of character, the Associated Press is now reporting that Roethlisberger has been accused of rape.

Roethlisberger's lawyer is denying the charges, saying in a statement that "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."

I would have to agree with the lawyer here. The woman, who had previously been reported to be named Andrea McNulty, claims in the suit that she didn't seek legal action earlier because she works for the Harrah's casino where she alleges the rape took place. She says she feared Harrah's would side with the Steelers quarterback and goes further in the lawsuit, seeking damages from the casino claiming they helped cover up the incident.

More from the AP:
The woman was working as an executive casino host last July when she said Roethlisberger struck up a friendly conversation at her desk during the golf tournament.

The next night, 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 handled it herself because she had been told it was important to please the celebrities.

In Roethlisberger’s room she said she determined the TV was functioning properly but as she turned to leave, the 6-foot-5, 240-pound quarterback blocked her exit, the suit claims.

The lawsuit said he 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.
That paints a pretty bad picture of "Big Ben," if the allegations are true. The lawsuit further claims that employees of Harrah's who helped cover up the incident even convinced her parents to give them keys to her home so they could wipe clean her computer of further records.

While I would never want to discredit anything that is this serious in nature, it just seems a little strange to wait this long, even if the woman was afraid of losing her job. Why would she want to work there anyway after they had allegedly covered up her rape? She was a front desk employee, presumably not making incredible amounts of cash. I know this isn't the best economy, but it's not like she was a rocket scientist who would suddenly have been out of work. She probably could have found another job that matched her skills, but instead waited until a year afterward? This reeks of the Kobe Bryant situation.

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