So who says that the off-season has to be boring?
Steelers fans have been craving news about their beloved Black and Gold. Unfortunately, this is probably not the news that they were hoping for.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been named in a civil lawsuit that alleges that he sexually assaulted a woman in a Las Vegas hotel room in July 2008.
“This weekend, Andrea McNulty served Ben Roethlisberger with a civil complaint accusing him of sexually assaulting her in July 2008″, said Atlanta-based sports attorney William David Cornwell Sr. “Ben has never sexually assaulted anyone, especially Andrea McNulty”.
“The timing of the lawsuit and the absence of a criminal complaint and a criminal investigation are the most compelling evidence of the absence of any criminal conduct. If an investigation is commenced, Ben will cooperate fully and Ben will be fully exonerated”.
I don’t want to take sides on this matter. After all, sexual assault is a serious matter. The courts will decide Roethlisberger’s guilt or innocence. However, it amazes me that in this “post-Kobe era”, that high profile athletes and entertainers still find themselves having sexual encounters with hotel employees. Didn’t the Kobe Bryant incident teach anyone anything?
According to TMZ.com, “Roethlisberger and McNulty had a sexual liaison at the time but Ben insists it was purely consensual. We’re told the two knew each other because Ben had stayed at Harrah’s in Lake Tahoe over the last several years for golf tournaments — and she worked at the hotel”.
According to the civil suit, McNulty, who works at the hotel, was asked by Roethlisberger to repair a broken TV. Roethlisberger allegedly blocked her exit from the room and sexually assaulted her.
Once again, it is not my job to determine guilt or innocence in this matter. However, if it is true that Roethlisberger did have sex with her (consensual or non-consensual), then he is not very bright. After all, he is a famous athlete with a $100 million contract. He has to scrutinize every potential sexual liaison with the assumption that an unscrupulous person may try to separate him from his money. I am not saying that Ms. McNulty falls into this category. Rather, I am saying that rich, famous celebrities need to assume that EVERYBODY falls into this category, and protect themselves accordingly.
Am I the only one who remembers Jerome Bettis being accused of similar charges by a woman in 2002? Of course, those charges were dropped and Bettis was exonerated. Nevertheless, that case should have served as a warning to all professional athletes that they are potential targets. If it didn’t, then the Kobe Bryant case and the Mike Tyson case certainly should have.
The ironic part of this whole matter is that the lawsuit was filed in Reno, Nevada, a city that is famous for it’s legal prostitution. I’m not condoning prostitution as an acceptable alternative. But if an athlete finds himself in Nevada and he needs to get some, well……..
Training camp begins in 10 days. Hopefully, this will not become a distraction for Ben or the other players. Unfortunately, I don’t see how it can serve as anything but a distraction.
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