ShareThis Page

Roethlisberger settles lawsuit alleging 2008 Lake Tahoe rape

| Friday, Jan. 20, 2012

RENO, Nev. -- The civil lawsuit filed by a former Harrah's Lake Tahoe casino host claiming Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger raped her while he was visiting Lake Tahoe for a celebrity golf tournament in 2008 has been resolved.

But neither side will say whether the Super Bowl star paid Andrea McNulty any money as a settlement.

McNulty filed the suit in Washoe District Court in 2009, claiming Roethlisberger lured her into his penthouse suite and forced her to have sex. The suit also named a list of Harrah's employees, claiming they covered up the alleged sexual assault.

In August 2011, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled against Roethlisberger and the other defendants, who had filed motions to move the case out of Reno. The Supreme Court affirmed a judge's ruling that the case should stay in Washoe District Court.

In December, all of the parties in the suit signed stipulations to dismiss the case.

McNulty's lawyer, Cal Dunlap, refused to discuss the terms of the stipulation.

Roethlisberger's lawyer, David Cornwell, and his agent, Ryan Tollner, did not respond to calls and emails requesting comment.

McNulty claimed that Roethlisberger asked her to come to his suite to fix his broken television, the suit said. Once in the room, McNulty said he forced her on the bed and raped her, the suit said.

McNulty said she later reported the alleged attack to a Harrah's security chief, but was told that Harrah's President John Koster was friends with Roethlisberger and said most girls would feel lucky to have sex with someone like Roethlisberger, according to the suit.

Lawyers for Roethlisberger and Harrah's denied the claims. In numerous court filings in the months that followed, Cornwell presented emails and witness statements that painted McNulty as an emotionally unstable woman who later bragged about the alleged sexual encounter.

Cornwell claimed that McNulty had a history of using sex and lies to get what she wanted and said she was using the suit to extort money from a sports star.

The suit sought general and punitive damages, as well as $380,000 to cover medical expenses for care McNulty claimed she needed to deal with the emotional distress she suffered from the alleged rape.

Roethlisberger faced similar allegations in Georga from a 20-year-old college student in March 2010. The girl accused Roethlisberger of sexually assaulting her after a night of drinking at a bar. Georga authorities investigated the allegations, but no charges were filed.

However, Roethlisberger was suspended for six games for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. After convincing the NFL commissioner that he had turned his life around, Roethlisberger was allowed back two games early.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.