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Published: Sunday, 4/18/2010

Party guest says Roethlisberger was drunk, groped her

ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
Roethlisberger Roethlisberger
ROB CARR / AP Enlarge

ATLANTA - The state of Georgia's monthlong investigation into a rape accusation leveled against Ben Roethlisberger uncovered an allegation by a second woman that the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback forced himself upon her.

The incident allegedly occurred during a party at Roethlisberger's house in central Georgia.

A young woman not interviewed by authorities claims the quarterback pulled his pants down and told her she could "do whatever she wants," according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation report.

A week later, the woman attended another party thrown by Roethlisberger. She claims the 28-year-old quarterback was drunk and forced his hand up her skirt.

She was able to escape and informed her father of the incident, but he apparently encouraged his daughter not to pursue a criminal complaint, the report states.

Roethlisberger's attorney, Ed Garland, said he would not discuss any additional details about the case.

Roethlisberger has, through attorneys, maintained his innocence.

Ocmulgee Circuit District Attorney Fred Bright announced Monday that he would not be filing charges against Roethlisberger for an alleged rape at a Milledgeville, Ga., nightclub.

The accuser's varying accounts and the lack of conclusive physical evidence were cited by the district attorney, though the alleged victim contends a rape did occur, according to documents released Thursday by the state.

"He had sex with me and meanwhile his body guards told my friends they couldn't pass them to get to me," the accuser said in a March 5 handwritten statement.

The 20-year-old Georgia College & State University sophomore states a Roethlisberger bodyguard took her by the arm and led her down a hallway and placed her atop a stool. The bodyguard left, Roethlisberger approached, and exposed himself, the woman said.

She said this was "not OK" and went to a bathroom, where Roethlisberger pursued her and forced her to have sex, the woman told a Milledgeville police officer immediately after the incident.

"I went to the first door I saw, which happened to be a bathroom and shut the door," the accuser wrote. "I still said no, this is not OK, and he then had sex with me. He said it was OK. He then left without saying anything."

While Roethlisberger avoided prosecution, the only officer to interview him has lost his job.

Sgt. Jerry Blash resigned Wednesday under pressure, WSB-TV reported.

Roethlisberger met Tuesday with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who is expected to suspend the quarterback. The league and the Steelers probably won't decide on punishment until after next week's three-day draft.



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