Roethlisberger named in Lake Tahoe case

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Ben Roethlisberger has been named a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed last week in Reno, Nev., that says the Steelers quarterback sexually assaulted a woman in July 2008.

A civil complaint was filed on Friday in Washoe County, Nev. Mr. Roethlisberger is named, along with eight co-defendants.

In addition to Mr. Roethlisberger, it names: John Koster, Guy Hyder, Mark Masters, Dave Monroe, Mike Rosenow, Debbie Neall, Bryan Casuscelli and Stacy Dingman.

The complaint was filed by attorney Calvin R. Dunlap, of Reno, who could not be reached for comment. The Post-Gazette does not name victims or accusers in sexual assault cases.

The full complaint alleges Mr. Roethlisberger's assault occurred July 11, 2008, in the quarterback's room in the Harrah's hotel in Lake Tahoe. The plaintiff, a hotel employee, said she had a few brief conversations at the hotel with Mr. Roethlisberger while he was in town for a celebrity golf tournament.

During one of those conversations, he allegedly told her his TV wasn't working and later called her to ask her to fix it. Although she wasn't a technician, she decided to go to the quarterback's room to see what she could do when she couldn't locate a repair person.

When she got to the room, she found the TV was working. Then, her complaint says, Mr. Roethlisberger blocked her path, kissed her and sexually assaulted her.

Atlanta-based sports attorney David Cornwell issued a statement on Mr. Roethlisberger's behalf late last night.

"This weekend [the plaintiff] served Ben Roethlisberger with a civil complaint accusing him of sexually assaulting her in July 2008. Ben has never sexually assaulted anyone; especially [the plaintiff]. The timing of the lawsuit and the absence of a criminal complaint and a criminal investigation are the most compelling evidence of the absence of any criminal conduct. If an investigation is commenced, Ben will cooperate fully and Ben will be fully exonerated.

"Ben will not be baited into a public discussion about his personal life, but we will defend him vigorously. The limited value that [the plaintiff] derived from public disclosure of these viciously false allegations is the only value she will ever receive from Ben in this case," the statement said.

Mr. Cornwell declined to elaborate.

Sharon Flanary, administrative assistant for Washoe County District Attorney Richard Gammick, confirmed today that no criminal complaint has been filed. She said there is no investigation involving any charges against Mr. Roethlisberger.

Likewise, no criminal complaint was found in Douglas County, Nevada, where, according to the civil complaint, the alleged victim was advised to file criminal charges against the Steelers quarterback.

"Everyone's been calling, but we have nothing," said Douglas County Sheriff Deputy Teresa Duffy. "There's been no criminal complaint. The DA's office has nothing, either."


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