Roethlisberger accuser says she told him 'no'
According to police documents, the woman repeatedly told the Steeler QB 'no'
Friends of the accused knew she was drunk and were concerned about her
Earlier this week, prosecutors said charges would not be filed
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.
"He then met us at the Brick and called us a 'tease.' Eventually, we saw him at the Capital City and saw him there. We said 'hey' and he started talking to (redacted) (nothing in particular) and his bodyguard took him back to the room w/ bathroom," she wrote. "I said 'I don't know if this is a good idea' and he said "it's OK." He had sex with me and meanwhile his bodyguards told my friends they couldn't pass them to get to me."
In a second statement the next day, the woman went into more detail about the encounter with Roethlisberger, saying that he made "crude, sexual remarks" when the two groups encountered each other at the second bar, before they went to Capital City.
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.
Rooney said that Roethlisberger told him he is prepared to accept disciplinary action.
Rooney said he expects NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to spend several weeks reviewing the sexual assault accusations and that the NFL and Steelers probably won't settle on any punishment until after next week's three-day draft.
"When we get to the point where we have agreed with the commissioner on what that action will be, that's when it will be imposed," Rooney said. "After imposing an appropriate level of discipline and outlining the steps we feel will be necessary to be successful as a player and a person, we intend to allow Ben the opportunity to prove to us he is the teammate and citizen we all believe he is capable of being."
Sparked partly by the Roethlisberger incident, Goodell sent a memo last week to NFL owners, executives and head coaches emphasizing the necessity of following the league's personal conduct policy. According to the memo, which was first reported by the New York Times, is not enough to excuse poor behavior.
"Unfortunately, in recent weeks there have been several negative incidents," the memo stated. "These incidents include subjects that we have previously identified as particularly troublesome, such as alcohol-related offenses, allegations of violence against women, and weapons offenses. ... The policy makes clear that NFL and club personnel must do more than simply avoid criminal behavior. We must conduct ourselves in a way that is responsible, that promotes the values upon which the league is based, and is lawful."
The Roethlisberger case has infuriated the Steelers.
"I have made it clear to Ben that his conduct in this incident did not live up to our standards," Rooney said. "We have made it very clear to Ben that there will be consequence for his actions, and Ben has indicated to us he is willing to accept those consequences."
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