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Prince Shembo addresses investigation

5/10/2014

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- New Atlanta Falcons linebacker Prince Shembo, a fourth-round draft pick from Notre Dame, spoke briefly about being the player investigated in the 2010 case of a St. Mary's College student who alleged she was inappropriately touched.

Lizzy Seeberg, the student at the Notre Dame sister school, committed suicide less than two weeks after the alleged incident. Shembo was never charged in the case.

"Pretty much it was an unfortunate event," Shembo said Saturday during a teleconference with Atlanta-area reporters. "My name was pretty much cleared. It's behind me now. I just want to focus on playing football for the Falcons."

Shembo said he told the Falcons the truth about the incident.

"All I can say is I met with all the Falcons guys, I told them exactly what happened, and I had a great time talking to them," Shembo said. "And they were able to see me. Now, I'm just ready to play for them."

Shembo was asked whether he felt any sympathy for Seeberg.

"Of course, I've got a lot of remorse for the girl," Shembo said. "Anytime someone experiences death or dies, it's always very sad. But I told you what I had to say before."

The incident occurred on Aug. 31, 2010. According to ABC News, Seeberg reported it on Sept. 6, 2010. She committed suicide four days later.

At the NFL combine, Shembo made his first public comments about the incident. He said Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly had "told me I couldn't talk about it" while at Notre Dame.

"I wanted to talk about it [then]," Shembo told ESPN.com's Michael Rothstein at the combine. "I wanted to, but they had to keep everything confidential. Now that I'm out [of school], I can talk about it."

According to the ABC News report, Seeberg said in her police statement, "I didn't feel safe in his room … he proceeded to grab my face and started to kiss me. Tears started rolling down my face because I didn't know what to do. … I felt so scared, I couldn't move."

Notre Dame police didn't interview Shembo until 15 days after Seeberg's death, according to the ABC News report. The St. Joseph County prosecutor's office never filed against Shembo in the case.

"I didn't do anything," Shembo told Rothstein in February. "I'm, pretty much, I'm the one who ended it and pretty much told the girl that we should stop, that we shouldn't be doing this, and that's what happened."

The Falcons did not immediately comment on Shembo's situation, with general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Mike Smith scheduled to address the media after the conclusion of the draft Saturday.

Dimitroff traditionally has stayed away from players with question marks in their backgrounds.