Accuser's friends reported Roethlisberger guards kept them away

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MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. -- Ben Roethlisberger's "bodyguards" were actively involved in putting the Steelers quarterback and his accuser together inside a Georgia nightclub and preventing the 20-year-old woman's friends from reaching her, according to their accounts to police contained in documents released today.

The woman who told police that Roethlisberger assaulted her gave two statements -- one shortly after the incident, a second several hours later.

"Ben asked us to go to his "vip" area (back of Capital). We all went with him," she wrote in the second statement. "He said there were shots for us, numerous shots were on the bar, and he told us to take them. His bodyguard came and took my arm and said come with me, he escorted me into a side door/hallway, and sat me on a stool. He left and Ben came back ... . I told him it wasn't ok, no, we don't need to do this and I proceeded to get up and try to leave. I went to the first door I saw, which happened to be a bathroom. He followed me into the bathroom and shut the door behind him. I still said no, this is not ok, and he then had sex with me. He said it was ok. Then he left without saying anything."

The Steelers quarterback, who was the focus of a monthlong investigation into sexual assault allegations by Georgia authorities that ended this week with no charges being filed, called his accuser a "tease" during a night of bar-hopping prior to the ill-fated encounter at the Capital City nightclub in Milledgeville, she said in a handwritten statement.

It was there that the woman alleged Mr. Roethlisberger raped her in a bathroom. Mr. Roethlisberger has denied the accusation through his lawyers.

The Post-Gazette does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault.

One of the woman's friends, Nicole Biancofiore, said the woman "was dragged by a bodyguard to the back room in Capital. She was extremely intoxicated and not aware of what was happening."

Ms. Biancofiore said she saw another friend, Aliesha Scholten, try to open the locked bathroom door, but "she was taken away by a bodyguard of Ben's."

A third friend, Ann Marie Lubatti, told police, that she "approached the other security guard and told him that she [the accuser] was in no shape to be back there with Ben Roethlisberger. He couldn't look me in the eye, and told me he didn't know what was going on. My friend went to open the door, and it was locked."

The statements were among hundreds of pages included in the Roethlisberger case file that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation made public today. Under Georgia's open records law, the information could be released because the case was closed, which officially occurred Wednesday.

None of the statements identify the bodyguards by name.

The bureau conducted the investigation of Mr. Roethlisberger along with the Milledgeville Police Department.

Authorities launched the inquiry March 5 after the accuser, a student at Georgia College & State University, complained to police.

Mr. Roethlisberger, who has an off-season residence in the area, had been out celebrating his 28th birthday with a number of friends including Steelers tackle Willie Colon, off-duty Pennsylvania State Trooper Trooper Ed Joyner and off-duty Coraopolis police officer Anthony J. Barravecchio.

An initial report by a Milledgeville police officer taken at 1:30 a.m. March 5 stated: "One of the suspect's bodyguards escorted her to a back room/hallway area where the suspect was.

"Once there, she stated, the suspect asked her for sex. At this time it is unclear to what happened after this point due to the complainant's recollection being foggy from her intoxication level. However, she did write a statement of what she thought happened."

The accuser's statement says:

"I met Ben Rotheseburgehergh [sic] at Velvet. He went to the Brick because he was [unreadable] to not be bombarded by fans. He then met us at the Brick and called me 'a tease.' Eventually we saw him at the Capital City & saw him there."

After the alleged sexual encounter in a small, dingy restroom at the club, the woman said, "My friends found me & talked to a Milledgeville policeman & he said to report it."

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Dan Majors: Jon Silver:


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