Roethlisberger's accuser offers to settle lawsuit

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The woman who has accused Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of sexual assault has offered to settle a civil lawsuit against him if he admits he assaulted her.

It is one of three conditions attorneys for the woman, a former Harrah's employee, outline in a letter they submitted to a Nevada court offering to settle the matter.

The conditions are that: first, he must admit that he assaulted her; he must deliver to her a letter of apology withdrawing "the false statements and allegations that he and his agents have made about her." And, lastly, he must donate $100,000 to the Committee to Aid Abused Women in Reno, Nev., "or a similar entity designated by the plaintiff."

The filing was submitted to Washoe County Court in Reno late Friday and made public yesterday. It was signed by Monique Laxalt, law partner of Calvin R.X. Dunlap, who is representing the 31-year-old woman who claims Mr. Roethlisberger assaulted her at Harrah's Lake Tahoe in July 2008, when he was there for a charity golf event.

The filing and the letter from the plaintiff indicate that the admission and apology must be made "within five days," but do not make clear on what date that deadline will expire.

Attorneys for Mr. Roethlisberger and for his accuser could not be reached for comment tonight. The Post-Gazette does not publish the names of alleged victims of sexual assault.

According to the filing, the offer to settle was in response to an Aug. 19 filing by Franklin Brockway Gowdy, a San Francisco-based attorney for Mr. Roethlisberger, in which Mr. Gowdy likened the civil lawsuit against Mr. Roethlisberger to extortion.

"This letter is submitted to the court in order to rebut defendant Roethlisberger's counsel's unfounded and false suggestion that plaintiff has brought this suit for the purpose of 'extorting' a large monetary recovery," the motion said. "Plaintiff's only interest has been and is to regain the dignity that was taken from her."

Also named in the civil lawsuit, filed July 17, are eight current or former employees of Harrah's Lake Tahoe, whom the plaintiff accuses of ignoring her claims of being assaulted or conspiring to cover them up.

Attorneys for all eight employees and Mr. Roethlisberger have filed motions to dismiss the case as well as motions for a change of venue from Washoe County, where the lawsuit was filed, to Douglas County, where the alleged assault is said to have occurred.

The case has been assigned to Second Judicial District Court Judge Brent Adams, who will rule on the motions to dismiss and the change-of-venue requests. No hearings have been set.


Dan Majors can be reached at dmajors@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1456.


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