clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

DA declines to press charges against Steelers' Roethlisberger [Letter added]

New, comments

Citing a lack of evidence, today at 2 PM, Ocmulgee Judicial Court DA Fred Bright held a press conference and announced his decision to not press charges against Steelers' star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.  In his press conference, DA Bright made multiple references to a letter sent by the family of the accuser asking him not to press charges.  He also claims that alleged victim, intoxicated, made multiple contradictory statements regarding the alleged assault, including that he raped her, that they had sex, and that he did not rape her.

The allegations of the case, as laid out by the DA are this:

Mr. Roethlisberger met the alleged victim at the Capitol City Club.  The alleged victim entered the VIP area of the club, and spent some time drinking with Mr. Roethlisberger and his associates.  She claims that she attempted to leave, by exiting through the nearest door.  That door led to a small bathroom, into which Mr. Roethlisberger quickly followed, cornering her.  He then raped her in a bathroom stall.

Mr. Roethlisberger's only statement regarding the assault was made on the night of the incident, and was thus (paraphrased):

"Yes, I remember her.  She was drinking a lot and as she went to leave she fell and bumped her head."

In the press conference, Mr. Bright notes that the examining ER physician made no note of any head injury.

As to the request for DNA evidence, DA Bright asserted that the Georgia State Crime Lab could not recover enough DNA from the alleged victim to make any profile of an attacker, and could only determine that the DNA belonged to a male human.  It was because of the scarcity of DNA evidence for comparison that the request for a sample from Mr. Roethlisberger was withdrawn.

Mr. Bright also responded to a question regarding probable cause, and Mr. Bright asserted that he did not have nearly enough evidence even to meet the standard of probable cause for an arrest warrant, much less the higher bar of proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt required for a conviction.  In reference to a rape charge, which is the crime alleged, Mr. Bright said there are three points required under Georgia law: that sexual intercourse occured, that it was forcible, and that it was nonconsensual.  Mr. Bright further asserted that he could not, beyond a reasonable doubt, have proved any one of those three points.

Mr. Bright said he would release the text of the letter sent to him by the alleged victim, her family and her lawyer at the conclusion of his press conference and when that becomes available I will post it here.