QB freak

No charges for Roethlisberger, but Big Ben’s reputation might be sacked
By MATT TAIBBI  |  April 22, 2010


Trying to parse the situation with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and his sexual-assault allegations, one comes to some interesting conclusions. The strategy pursued by law enforcement in this case speaks volumes.

Normally, when a genuinely innocent person is accused of rape, you don’t see reams of hideous witness testimony pouring out to the press after it’s been announced that no indictment would be forthcoming.

But in this case, if you read between the lines, it seems clear that authorities have some very strong feelings about Roethlisberger, who — in case you’ve been out of the country for the past month — had an incident with a 20-year-old college student at a Milledgeville, Georgia, nightclub on March 5. The would-be prosecutor in this case, Ocmulgee Circuit District Attorney Fred Bright, practically held his nose as he announced that he wouldn’t be filing charges. “We do not prosecute morals,” he said. “We prosecute crimes.”

Some ugly details subsequently were made public. It seems that Roethlisberger encouraged the young woman to pound shots. While intoxicated, she was led down a hallway by one of Roethlisberger’s bodyguards, an off-duty cop from the Pittsburgh suburbs named Anthony Barravecchio, who sat her down on a stool. Roethlisberger, according to the woman’s statement, then came down the hallway pulling his penis out of his pants.

“I told him it wasn’t okay, no, we don’t need to do this and I proceeded to get up and try to leave,” the woman wrote in her statement. “I went to the first door I saw, which happened to be a bathroom.”

The girl then found herself in the bathroom with Roethlisberger, who shut the door behind him. “I still said no, this is not okay, and he then had sex with me,” the statement continued. “He said it was okay. He then left without saying anything.”

It gets worse. While Ben was waving his wang at this poor girl and humping her in a bathroom, he had another off-duty-cop bodyguard, a state trooper named Ed Joyner, standing lookout. The woman’s girlfriends were trying to get to her to see if she was okay, and Joyner just looked away and pretended he didn’t know what they were talking about. These two guys are cops!

Late last week, another incident surfaced. According to Linc Boyer, who works with the Milledgeville Police Department’s Explorer program, Roethlisberger allegedly got grabby with an employee of Great Waters, a golf course near his Georgia home. Roethlisberger apparently had this 21- or 22-year-old woman be his designated driver one night. When they got to his house, he wouldn’t let her leave, slamming the door behind him.

At that point, the police report reads, “Roethlisberger allegedly pulled his pants down and told [the girl] that she could do what she wants.”

She managed to get away, but a week later, Roethlisberger asked her to come back to the house for a party. He took the woman to show her his new bed, and asked her to lie down on it. She did and Roethlisberger got on top of her and shoved his hand up her skirt. The report says that Roethlisberger was “forceful” with her and that, when she eventually was able to leave, he was very upset. The woman did not file charges, and asked police to keep her name confidential.

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