Big Ben guilty of very bad judgment

Posted: 04/15/2010 in football
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’m sifting through the just-released statements given to police by Ben Roethlisberger’s accuser and it makes no sense that sexual assault or rape charges weren’t pursued by the authorities in Milledgeville, Georgia.

It smacks of another pro athlete living by different rules than the rest of society or that the young woman who accused Roethlisberger of assaulting her is more interested in dollar signs than justice.

It also creates doubt in whether or not the 20-year-old inebriated woman was entirely truthful about what happened that night.

Authorities stated earlier this week that the woman asked that charges not be filed against Roethlisberger. She expressed concern over the intrusive nature of a trial as if she wasn’t going to be able to handle the scrutiny.

But if you are going to ensure that someone else’s reputation is forever shot by accusing them of sexual assault, you shouldn’t be surprised that a trial is part of the process.

If the woman’s account of what happened that night is accurate, then it’s a shame that charges weren’t filed. A construction worker, a postal employee or a waiter couldn’t get away with such slimy actions. Why should the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers be any different?

According to the police statements, the accuser said she told Roethlisberger, “no, this is not OK” shortly before the alleged assault.

Her statement to police says Big Ben came down a hallway and exposed himself and she tried to get away by going to a doorway that turned out to be a bathroom. She says she again expressed her reluctance to Roethlisberger as he entered the restroom.

“I still said ‘no, this is not OK,’ and he then had sex with me,” the accuser says in her statement. “He said it was OK. He then left without saying anything.”

While Roethlisberger has avoided being sacked by the Georgia authorities, he’s definitely in severe scramble mode when it comes to his employers. Both the NFL and the Steelers are discussing the proper amount of disciplinary action and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is unlikely to be lenient.

Steelers president Art Rooney II didn’t sound too happy with the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback in an Associated Press story published Thursday evening.

“I have made it clear to Ben that his conduct in this incident did not live up to our standards,” Rooney said. “We have made it very clear to Ben that there will be consequences for his actions, and Ben has indicated to us he is willing to accept those consequences.”

This incident is Roethlisberger’s second highly publicized brush with sexual assault. A Lake Tahoe hotel worker named Andrea McNulty filed a civil suit last summer alleging that Roethlisberger raped her in his hotel room in the summer of 2008.

At the time, McNulty’s actions were highly scrutinized. She didn’t report a sexual assault and some of her co-workers said she boasted about having sex with the quarterback.

I don’t have the slightest idea whether Roethlisberger raped McNulty or whether they had consensual sex. But I know this – if you are being sued for sexual assault, it’s beyond idiotic to put yourself in the position that Roethlisberger did in the previous unheard of town of Milledgeville.

The Georgia incident also makes you wonder if there are other instances of Roethlisberger forcing himself on a woman. Just recall how quickly Tiger Woods’ mistresses rushed to the spotlight once the ball got rolling.

What we have for now is this: Roethlisberger isn’t facing rape charges in Georgia and there’s way too much he-said, she-said in the McNulty incident to reach an absolute opinion.

But Roethlisberger is definitely guilty – guilty of bad judgment.


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