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Accuser to help in Roethlisberger probe

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Friday, March 26, 2010

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — The 20-year-old student who accused Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of sexually assaulting her will meet with investigators, according to one of her attorneys.

In a statement released Thursday by Lee Parks of the firm Parks Chesin and Walbert in Atlanta, the sophomore at Georgia College & State University "is cooperating fully with law enforcement in this matter."

"Future interviews have been scheduled, and our client will attend."

The statement — released to counter televised reports that indicated the woman wasn't cooperating with police — didn't say when or where the meetings would occur. The woman gave an initial statement to Milledgeville police March 5, before the Georgia Bureau of Investigation assumed the investigation.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman John Bankhead said he couldn't confirm nor deny the woman's continuing participation in the investigation. He cited a news blackout imposed until prosecutors or a grand jury decide whether to indict Roethlisberger, 28, or drop any potential case against him.

"But I'm glad that the attorneys responded to it, because I've been referring reporters to them," Bankhead said.

David F. Walbert, one of the attorneys representing the accuser, was out of town recently and so unavailable to escort her to interviews with investigators.

According to her friends, the woman left school to spend more than a week with her parents in suburban Atlanta after the alleged assault in a staff restroom at Capital City nightclub in the early hours of March 5.

She returned to class briefly, but the college is on spring break this week and her home is more than a two-hour drive away.

The Tribune-Review doesn't name the alleged victims of sexual assault.

In his Atlanta office, Roethlisberger's attorney Edward T.M. Garland reiterated that he believes the criminal investigation should lead to no charges and that his client would be exonerated.

"I am confident," he said.

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