Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Updated: March 11, 5:23 PM ET
Report: Roethlisberger talked to police
ESPN.com news services
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told police in Milledgeville, Ga., no sexual intercourse took place between him and his accuser, a television station in Pittsburgh reported on Wednesday.
A 20-year-old woman told police Roethlisberger, who had been out barhopping with friends, assaulted her early March 5. Roethlisberger has not been charged. As previously reported by ESPN's Kelly Naqi, Roethlisberger talked to Milledgeville police the night of the alleged attack.
KDKA, the CBS affiliate in Pittsburgh, reported Roethlisberger told police and others in his party he did not have sexual intercourse with the young woman.
Sources told KDKA Roethlisberger said he had contact with the woman that was not consummated and afterward she slipped and fell, injuring her head.
It was also reported Wednesday that two off-duty Pennsylvania law enforcement officers were with Roethlisberger at the Georgia nightclub.
Anthony Barravecchio, an officer on the force in the Pittsburgh suburb of Coraopolis, and Pennsylvania Trooper Ed Joyner were among about eight people with Roethlisberger celebrating his birthday at the club, attorney Michael Santicola said. Santicola said the men were there because they are friends of the two-time Super Bowl winner.
"They were not there in their official capacity," said Santicola, who represents Barravecchio but said Joyner is also a longtime friend.
Santicola, who's based in western Pennsylvania, said both of the law enforcement officers who were with Roethlisberger are cooperating fully with the investigation, but say they saw nothing inappropriate.
"They saw nothing inappropriate, no criminal activity and no inappropriate contact or behavior," Santicola said, adding that Barravecchio was "completely sober" during the evening.
Santicola also said the two do not remember meeting the woman who has accused Roethlisberger of assault.
"If they did meet the woman, they have no memory of it," Santicola said. "This was a crowded bar with people everywhere."
Ed Garland, an attorney for Roethlisberger, has said the quarterback is innocent of any crime and that no sexual assault occurred.
Two Atlanta-based attorneys for the woman who accused Roethlisberger have said that she did the right thing and asked for her family's privacy.
Milledgeville police have said they expect to interview Roethlisberger this week and are planning to take a DNA sample from him.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation special agent Tom Davis said his department hasn't interviewed Roethlisberger yet.
"We're here to do a thorough investigation and there is not a timetable [on when we will complete our investigation]," Davis said. "Our role is, we're fact gatherers. We are honestly looking to pursue the truth in this matter. You've got two people involved and both deserve a fair investigation. We're trying to do things as expeditiously as we can. We are not going to compromise the integrity of the investigation just to satisfy the media or to meet an expected deadline; it will be done when it's done."
Roethlisberger, who owns a home about 30 miles north of Milledgeville on Lake Oconee, is also being sued by a woman who claims he raped her in 2008 at a hotel-casino in Lake Tahoe hotel and casino, an allegation he strongly denies.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.