The Union Recorder

March 11, 2010

Officers posed for photos with QB hours before complaint

Jonathan Jackson
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — The patrol officer who initially investigated the sexual assault complaint against Ben Roethlisberger posed for photographs with the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback an hour before his accused filed her complaint.

Sgt. Jerry Blash, who subsequently wrote a sparse incident report that did not name Roethlisberger, had a close-up picture taken with the celebrity football player inside a local bar and, later, outside the bar with a group of other officers.

Police Chief Woodrow Blue said he was not troubled by the photographs, adding that his officers handled the case correctly from the onset.

“The photographs did not and have not affected the investigation at all,” said Blue.

And while Blash, an eight-year veteran of the Milledgeville Police Department, was the officer approached by the alleged victim and the officer who wrote the incident report, Blue said Blash had little involvement in the subsequent investigation.

Questions about whether Blash filed a more detailed narrative and who took over the investigation from him were rebuffed by the chief on the grounds he could not discuss such details because of the ongoing investigation.

Blue did indicate that once his department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation complete their inquiry, they will turn their information over to District Attorney Fred Bright for a determination on whether to file charges in the case.