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April 12, 2010

NFL quarterback won't face sexual assault charges

Posted: 09:17 PM ET

A Georgia prosecutor announced Monday that criminal charges will not be brought against NFL Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. 

Roethlisberger had been the focus of a sexual assault investigation, after a 20-year old female student at Milledgeville Georgia’s College and State University spoke to police about alleged events in the early morning hours of March 5, 2010.

District Attorney Fred Bright described that Roethlisberger and the alleged victim both bar hopped that night in separate circles, but met each other during the course of the evening.  Both were drinking  the DA said, and at what was to be the last stop, Millegeville’s Capitol City Night Club, the bar provided shots of alcohol.

The victim was taken by one of Roethlisberger’s bodyguards to a back hallway.  The alleged victim and the NFL player went into a “small dingy bathroom.”  Inconsistent statements from the alleged victim leave questions about what happened in that room, Bright concluded.  Roethlisberger has consistently denied through his attorney Ed Garland any criminal activity. 

A friend took the alleged victim to Oconee Regional Medical Center, and a sexual assault kit showed “superficial lacerations” and bleeding in the genital area. The district attorney could not determine if the wounds were or were not from a sexual assault. Human male DNA was present, but the presence was so minute, there was no identifying profile. Police did not collect a DNA sample from the quarterback, Bright said because there was “no known male DNA sample.”

Bright said he had received a letter from the alleged victim saying she did not want prosecution of this case. 

During the lengthy press conference the prosecutor said there were inconsistent statements given by the alleged victim. Her first answer was "No" when asked by police “did he rape you?”  Another statement made by the college student: “I don’t know if this is a good idea.” Bright said when she was sober the alleged victim stated she told him (Roethlisberger) “it wasn’t ok… we don’t need to do this. I went to the first door… he came in… he then had sex with me.”

Bright said he did not have probable cause to arrest Roethlisberger and could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the crime of rape had been committed.  Bright also said during the press conference “significant questions of what occurred persist.”

 – Jean Casarez, In Session Correspondent

Filed under: Case Updates


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Marta   April 12th, 2010 9:51 pm ET

So how many more times is he going to be able to get away with his horrible actions? Just because he is an NFL player does NOT give him the right to take advantage of women. In time his actions will become his downfall.


LauraT   April 13th, 2010 6:45 am ET

So I guess Ben is one lucky man - and the young woman left with shame. Let's hope it does not happen again.


Tracy   April 13th, 2010 9:42 am ET

who had the key to unlock the Chains from calista's waist the day of the fire? It was 8:30 am. 2 kids at school, and Dad gone, and Blind Mom running the sweeper?


Frances Flores-Rodriguez   April 13th, 2010 10:38 am ET

Why Calista's birth Mom, Didn't go to court to have full carge of her daugther?


bridgette   April 13th, 2010 1:32 pm ET

This child begged for help from more than one adult.Alot of people dropped the ball.And nobodies dead but this poor child.The parents should be put in chains and suffer in jail the rest of their lives!when she showed the marks to that parent she should have been removed then.That beautiful child would still be here today.


Carol Paquette   April 13th, 2010 1:33 pm ET

After watching this trial for the past week, it makes just about everyone involved in the case look really stupid. The school counselor, some of the teachers, the social workers and especially the male psychologist. I'm from Michigan and have never seen such a simple group of adults assembled under one roof. It's unbelievable!

I really feel sorry that this poor girl had no one to help her out of such an inhumane situation.


roy   April 13th, 2010 1:45 pm ET

These parents do not look normal what is their mental capabilties, they appear as conservative omish people or adventists.


roy   April 13th, 2010 1:50 pm ET

In all the pictures she looks happy and dressed fine who coached these people they all are wearing warm clothing!


AmericanD   April 13th, 2010 2:26 pm ET

"Bright said he did not have probable cause to arrest Roethlisberger and could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the crime of rape had been committed. "

Ok, so now the DA decides if he can "prove beyond a reasonable doubt" before taking action now?

Seems to me the DA is overstepping his bounds by quite a fair margin.


Lynn   April 13th, 2010 4:48 pm ET

He is MENTAL
He seriously should consider going to theraphy and to get a counseling
session which would force him..YES force him to develop a real relationship and go on real dates with real women.
He needs also to be forced to report after having real dinner dates real dates period with a woman who will evaluate his behavior on those dates..in otherwords he needs RETRAINED!


pfft   April 14th, 2010 11:35 am ET

Jesus, the feminist movement is in full swing in this place.. The DA decides if a case will be win-able or NOT before they take them to trial. This is true with EVERY suspected crime. This is WHY they attempt to go for an indictment. If a DA does not think they have a case, they usually will NOT waste time nor money pursuing a case where a spoiled rich guy makes a mistake by banging a bar slut. have any of you people ever BEEN to Milledgeville Ga? A DEAD guy with money can get laid there...

Give it a rest. Sorry but false claims of rape didn't win you womyn anything this time. But don't worry. The next drunk witch with a grudge will fair better I am sure. And for gawd's sake Ben go find a hooker, dude.


janice williams   April 14th, 2010 11:46 am ET

marsha should have went straight to the child once she smelled smoke or seen smoke i beleive she know what she was doing. she should spend 25years in prison,thenget the death penalty she is evil and guilty also anthony springer janice wv


Robyn Casey   April 14th, 2010 11:58 am ET

A Detective mentioned during the trial there were 2 things found in the bedroom trash. Zip ties and condoms. Was she checked for sexual abuse????????


Jean Cevering   April 14th, 2010 1:39 pm ET

I do not think her stepmother wanted her to live. This would be the end of this problem for her. That is why she didn't do anything to help this poor child.

JC, Cal


Jean Cevering   April 14th, 2010 1:45 pm ET

The question by you was; do you think her stepmom should of done more to help rescuse Clarssa from the fire? My answer is, No! She wanted this child to parish and this would solve all problems in dealing with poor girl

JC, California


cindy   April 14th, 2010 1:56 pm ET

hypothetical...? calista's abuse, neglect, torture, suffering, and death is not hypthetical. mrs. springer did not do herself any favors in her selection of defense attorney.


dano   April 14th, 2010 3:42 pm ET

He is a perfect example of why I won't watch any NFL games. He will be another O.J. He will finally get what's coming to him. Now these kind of creepy guys are showing up in the Golf world. Yep, Tiger Woods, another bottom feeder!!


Carol   April 14th, 2010 4:33 pm ET

This man doesn't get it at all he has to keep his hands off of women and not do anything to them they don't want and that is a fact.

Just as dano said he is a bottom feeder like so many others that are in sports and it just makes all sports look so bad and children who look up to these people think it is OK to do what ever they want to women and get away with it and earn a lot of money doing it and that is another fact.


Edward   April 14th, 2010 5:19 pm ET

For real!!! If the DA said they don't have enough evidence to bring it to trial, then THEY DON'T! Be glad they aren't wasting your tax dollars on a case that anyone with money could get out of. Remember that we are SUPPOSED to be innocent until PROVEN guilty!!!! Not presumed guilty because a bunch a whiney feminists don't like football players. and to Dano... Tiger Woods was never alleged to have assaulted anyone. He may be a lousy husband but he is a great golfer so MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!!!!


Smith in Oregon   April 15th, 2010 12:05 am ET

A team of lawyers in Las Vegas has publicly commented they are currently investigation a similar instance of possible sex abuse on a women who is their client, who has previously stated a very similar chain of events leading up to the alleged assault on her by Big Ben.

In short, this does not appear to be the end of Big Ben's current problems regarding possible charges of sex abuse against him.


Karen Schultz   April 15th, 2010 10:12 am ET

Where did the defense Attorney find this Doctor. (Carter)


louellen   April 15th, 2010 10:47 am ET

what are they waiting for with ben ?he should have been charge with giving a minor booze because she was not 21 and the bar should have been cited to. what are they gonna do when he attcks a teen-ager ?can't he find a woman his own age or doesn't he appeal to them?i wonder how many other girls are out there he did this to cos you know there is more but are afraid to come forward or was paid off.


lyn   April 15th, 2010 1:17 pm ET

Just goes to show you that if you are an athlete or have money then you are above the law. So unfortunate that the law has been working that way lately


bre   April 15th, 2010 1:57 pm ET

It seems that if you drink alcohol that you deserve to be raped. Nice message to send out there to young men.


Jose   April 17th, 2010 9:36 am ET

As Usual a celebrity, a player don't get prosecution they are always innocent and excellent persons .. What a joke they are the worst criminals who hide behind the money, and media to cover up their crimes., and the common people who are innocent they throw them in jail as animals., And they say that Justice is blind but always peak with one eye, There is no justice for the innocent and the justice is always in favor of the rich, celeb, idol,politician, just because e they have the money to buy everybody.


Castlekeeper   April 17th, 2010 2:58 pm ET

There shouldn't be any charges...He didn't do anything. She says they had unprotected sex. That leaves a whole lot of evidence. There was none so once again as in times past I believe she is some kind of pathological liar.. No evidence should mean no charges after all our system works on proof not he said ,she said.


bill   April 19th, 2010 12:57 pm ET

this is the second charge made against him in two years and i believe he is guilty but he is hiding behind his money and fame, he should be prosecuted and banned from football for life. he is suppose to set an example for our youth. good example your setting there buddy (shame on you)


Charles   April 19th, 2010 9:14 pm ET

It is a shame a woman gets a life sentence for being raped . A man gets off for murdering his wife ,two year for killing and fighting dogs , 2-4 games on the bench for rape . Where is the justice . I miss the value and equality of it . It is just proof that the revolving door is all about money .


Mel   April 20th, 2010 9:19 am ET

Innocent til proven guilty...Since they can't prove it, he is innocent.. besides has anyone considered the fact that maybe both of these women are out to extort money from him? Its a possiblity, either way the system made a decision and we just have to accept that.


Danny Langsford   April 20th, 2010 2:52 pm ET

after reading that report i bet if another man did what he did to that girl to his sister or mom they would call it rape,ben is a rapist we don't need a jury to tell us that,a person can be something even if the law says there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute,when a lady says no thats it period,if you do anything else sexually towards her after she says no its rape and you are a sexual predator,if a woman says no its not yours to take its only hers to give period


Danny Langsford   April 20th, 2010 3:21 pm ET

what do you think would happen if ben did this to a season ticket holder's daughter?


Teresa   April 22nd, 2010 9:57 am ET

His actions have established a pattern of behavior. I think it is a shame that Pennsylvania would keep on a state trooper who would assist Big Ben in not only committing this act, but in helping to cover it up. Just because it was two police officers stating they 'don't even remember the woman', does not make them credible. The defense attorney already made a press release that the underage girls were served alcohol by the bar and Ben and the state trooper and Pittsburgh officer were present for that. Why didn't they stop that? They were implicit in assisting him in the crime and covering it up. So many are too quick to believe just because a woman has a drink with a man, means she wants him. I say prosecute him and let the chips fall where they may. Put it before a jury and let them decide on the evidence.


Terese   April 23rd, 2010 10:15 am ET

All the persons who had the ability (and indeed the OBLIGATION) to protect Calista should be prosecuted: The parents, the social workers (particularly the social worker who CLOSED the case); and the school administrators. The jurors' comment that they are "deadlocked" boggles my mind. Jurors should put themselves in a position as if Calista was their child. Would they not want justice for Calista?


Pat Payne   April 27th, 2010 1:30 am ET

I am outraged that no charges was or will be filed. The suspect should haave been taken to a Sexual Assualt Center or the nearest ER and a rape suspect kit should have been done. This is BS that there was not enough evidence to bring it to trial decided by the DA – sorry but I don't think that was the DA's decision to make. What happened to having a Grand Jury make that decision???
It also does not matter if the victim wanted to prosecute or not, the law was broken. I'm sick of these high profile people thinking they are above the law and have the money to make sure that nothing comes of their sick actions.
People it is time for us to stand up to those in high positions that ignore the law and peoples rights!!


Dr.F.Dermot O'Mahoney   June 8th, 2010 11:35 am ET

To all,
Yes,Mr.Roethlisberger is innocent. Men and Women who are famous must beware of "troublemakers"and "lifewreckers"at every turn and each moment.
Just think back to Ray Lewis ...who was supposed to have murdered his bodyguard/driver or Orenthal J. Simpson,who alledgedly killed a man and and Mrs.Simpson.
One who is famous in the USA,MUST be very careful...and EVEN THEN...ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN...because there are ugly people outt there.


Mitzy   November 16th, 2010 2:34 pm ET

How many times does this have to happen for him to be considered/classified a serial rapist? Is it just me but I think we are seeing a pattern here.



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