Authorities wrap Roethlisberger investigation
The investigation into the alleged sexual assault of a 20-year-old Georgia student by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is in the hands of the district attorney.
Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit District Attorney Fred Bright on Tuesday evening received a report, including all witness statements, compiled by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Milledgeville Police Department, according to the two agencies.
"There will be no further statements until a decision has been made by the DA," according to a joint statement by GBI and Milledgeville authorities.
A sorority sister at Milledgeville's Georgia College and State University accused Roethlisberger of sexually assaulting her in a staff restroom of the popular Capital City nightclub early March 5, triggering a month-long investigation by Milledgeville and GBI detectives.
Milledgeville is about 80 miles south of Atlanta and 30 miles north of Roethlisberger's lakeside mansion in the posh Great Waters section of Putnam County. The assault allegedly followed a four-hour pub crawl by Roethlisberger and an entourage witnesses said numbered between eight and 10 bulky men.
Around 2:30 a.m. March 5, the young accuser told Milledgeville police that Roethlisberger had sexually assaulted her. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review does not reveal the names of alleged victims of sexual assault.
Attorneys for the 20-year-old accuser did not return messages seeking comment about the investigation. A native of the northern Atlanta suburbs, she briefly left school to be with her family shortly after the alleged assault but has since returned to class and was recently re-interviewed by detectives.
Roethlisberger was briefly interviewed by Georgia authorities hours after the alleged attack and has exercised his constitutional right to remain silent ever since.
His Atlanta criminal defense attorney, Edward T.M. Garland, told the Trib that his team of private investigators "have completed 98 percent of my investigation and we have provided information to the district attorney, too.
"My position remains the same from Day 1: No crime was committed."
It remains unknown if DA Bright disagrees. Bright represents Baldwin and eight other middle Georgia counties. Bright will decide whether to charge Roethlisberger, drop the matter or hand it off to a grand jury to weigh an indictment.
Bright has yet to ask Baldwin County Clerk of Superior Court Rosemary Fordham Phillips to convene a grand jury, which she could do as soon as the middle of May but more likely in July, a week or so before players report for Steelers' training camp in Latrobe.
"I haven't received an order to convene it," said Phillips. "One just met in March. Right now, it's up to Fred Bright if he's ready or not to go. If he says that he will be ready by the middle of May for it, then we will do it, but if that's too short for him then the next one could be convened in mid-July."
For Roethlisberger, he now has earned as many Super Bowl rings as accusations of sexual assault, the previous one part of an ongoing lawsuit brought by a female casino employee who claims the quarterback raped her in 2008.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.