The Union Recorder

Local News

March 9, 2010

Police will ask Roethlisberger for DNA

MILLEDGEVILLE — Milledgeville Police Chief Woodrow Blue confirmed at a press conference Monday that the department will ask Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for DNA as part of an investigation into a 20-year-old woman's claim that he sexually assaulted her in a downtown Milledgeville club early Friday morning.

Blue said although Roethlisberger had not yet contributed a DNA sample, the department would ask for one. Blue said that thus far, Roethlisberger's legal team has been cooperative.

“They are helping in this investigation,” Blue said.

Early Monday, Atlanta criminal defense attorney Ed Garland was retained to represent Roethlisberger in the case. His office issued a statement Monday afternoon.

“The facts show that there was no criminal activity,” Garland said. “No sexual assault occurred. We are cooperating with the investigation. Ben is completely innocent of any crime. The truth of the events should cause this investigation to end without a criminal charge. I will not go into details at this time, but will in the future.”

Roethlisberger was initially questioned about the assault just minutes after it was reported, Deputy Police Chief Richard Malone said in a Friday evening press conference. When asked why Roethlisberger was allowed to leave following questioning, Blue acknowledged the question, then ignored it, instead turning to another member of the press for a different question.

The woman in the case has also retained legal representation, Georgia Bureau of Investigation special agent in charge Tom Davis said. The GBI is assisting the police with the case and Davis said the victim has a lawyer, but declined to name the attorney.

Blue said he anticipated interviews with Roethlisberger and members of the entourage that were with him Thursday night and Friday morning as they visited several bars in downtown Milledgeville would take place within the next two to three days and that the department would also hold another press conference in that time.

Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit District Attorney Fred Bright said he was unable to comment on specifics in connection to the investigation as of press time Monday.

“The investigation is ongoing, said Bright. “It would be premature to make any announcement at this time. When the facts are in and a decision is made, we will let you know.”

On the night of the alleged incident, the Milledgeville Police Department reported that the NFL star and his accuser visited several bars before the alleged incident took place.

The police report stated that the victim was “sexually assaulted or sexually manipulated” by a man and that she was treated and released from the Oconee Regional Medical Center.

According to the police report, the alleged victim described her attacker as a 6-foot-5, and 241 pound male, but did not name Roethlisberger as the attacker. Blue confirmed at the press conference that the alleged victim did indicate that Roethlisberger allegedly assaulted her.

Police stated that the alleged incident happened sometime between 11 p.m. Thursday and 2:30 a.m. at the Capital City nightclub on Wayne Street.

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