Friday, April 9, 2010
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MILLEDGEVILLE -- It appears as if Ben Roethlisberger has escaped one heck of a sack.
ESPN reported, according to muliple sources, late Friday night that the two-time Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback won't be charged with sexual assault of a 20-year-old Georgia College and State student when Milledgeville district attorney Fred Bright holds a 2 p.m. news conference Monday to announce his plans whether to pursue the case.
ESPN's Kelly Naqi first reported the news.
Roethlisberger's lawyer, Ed Garland, has disputed the assault claim all along and even hired his own team to investigate.
"I want everyone to realize that Ben Roethlisberger has never been accused of any criminal conduct by any law enforcement agency in his life," Garland told The Associated Press on Friday. "We believe the correct decision by the district attorney in this matter should be that no criminal charges will be made against him."
Milledgeville police Chief Woodrow Blue said Wednesday his department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation had wrapped up their investigation into the student's claim that Roethlisberger sexually assaulted her early March 5 at a club in Milledgeville.
It was the second time in a year that Roethlisberger has been accused of sexual misconduct. He also faces a lawsuit filed last July by a woman who says he raped her in 2008 at a Lake Tahoe hotel and casino, an allegation he denies. Roethlisberger has not been criminally charged in either case and has claimed counterdamages in the lawsuit.
Roethlisberger did not report to Pittsburgh's offseason workouts last month. The next critical day for players is April 19, when on-field practice starts. Most of the team is expected to be on hand then.
An attorney for the woman did not immediately return calls seeking comment Friday. A Steelers spokesman did not have a comment.
It was the second time in a year that Roethlisberger has been accused of sexual misconduct.