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Published: Wednesday, 9/9/2009

Lawyer: We'll drop suit if Steelers QB admits rape

RENO, Nev. — A former Nevada casino worker who has accused Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of sexually assaulting would drop her civil lawsuit if he acknowledged the rape and apologized, her attorney said.

Reno-based attorney Cal Dunlap wrote in a letter to Roethlisberger's lawyers that his client would also like the quarterback to donate $100,000 to the Committee to Aid Abused Women, a Reno nonprofit organization that offers support to domestic violence victims.

Roethlisberger's lawyer, David Cornwell, said Tuesday they wouldn't accept her offer.

Dunlap said the proposal is designed to counter claims made by Roethlisberger's lawyers that his client only filed the lawsuit to get money from the Super Bowl-winning quarterback.

Her only interest “has been and is to regain the dignity that was taken from her,” Dunlap said in a motion that asking the letter be added to the court record.

The Reno Gazette-Journal reported on Dunlap's letter on its Web site Tuesday. Dunlap didn't return telephone and e-mail messages left by The Associated Press on Tuesday night.

The woman, a VIP casino hostess, filed the civil suit against Roethlisberger in July, claiming he raped her in 2008 in a hotel penthouse across the street from a golf course where he was playing in a celebrity tournament.

The woman has said she reported the incident to security at Harrah's Lake Tahoe but never filed a criminal complaint because she feared Harrah's would side with Roethlisberger and she would be fired. She also accused Harrah's officials of orchestrating a cover-up.

The suit seeks a minimum of $440,000 in damages from Roethlisberger, at least $50,000 in damages from the eight Harrah's officials named as defendants and an unspecified amount of punitive damages.

The AP, as a matter of policy, does not identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted.

Roethlisberger and his lawyers deny the woman's allegations. They demanded in an Aug. 19 settlement letter that she drop the lawsuit and write a letter of apology to the NFL star.

In return, Roethlisberger would release both the woman and Dunlap from any legal liability stemming from the “conspiracy to extort and defame” him.

Those demands have been rejected by the woman, Dunlap said in his letter.



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