Courts & Crime

Steelers QB Roethlisberger accused of sexual assault

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. _ Investigators from the Milledgeville Police Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are investigating allegations that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sexually assaulted a woman in a Milledgeville nightclub early Friday morning.

At an early evening news conference, Deputy Police Chief Richard Malone said Roethlisberger, 28, is "alleged to be the perpetrator" in a sexual assault of a 20-year-old Georgia College & State University student at the Capital City nightclub sometime after 2 a.m.

According to a police report, the victim found a Milledgeville police officer on patrol on East Hancock Street and reported that she'd been assaulted.

Investigators questioned several people at the nightclub, including Roethlisberger and three members of his party, Malone said.

Roethlisberger has a house in Eatonton on Lake Oconee, about 30 minutes north of Milledgeville, according to property records.

The victim was taken to Oconee Regional Medical Center in Milledgeville, where evidence was obtained. She was later released from the hospital.

Malone said that investigators hoped to re-interview Roethlisberger after he has an opportunity to consult with his attorney. Officials declined to give the name of the attorney, but they said they didn't think he was based in Middle Georgia.

When asked if alcohol was a factor in the alleged assault, Malone said, "I'm not going to answer that at this point."

GBI agent Tom Davis said that his office regularly consults with law enforcement officials in Baldwin County, and that state investigators weren't brought in because of the high-profile nature of the case.

"We're here to provide crime-scene and investigative support," Davis said.

Roethlisberger isn't named in the official police report, which describes the suspect as a "white male, with brown hair and brown eyes, 6-foot-5 inches tall and 241 pounds."

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