Police documents provide details from Ben Roethlisberger’s accuser
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The 20-year-old college student who accused Ben Roethlisberger of assaulting her last month told Milledgeville, Ga., police the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback followed her into a nightclub bathroom, cornered her and had sex with her after she told him ‘no’ more than once.
Hundreds of pages of police documents regarding the case were released Thursday, three days after prosecutors said no charges would be filed against Roethlisberger, who has denied the accusations.
In her statement, the accuser said Roethlisberger encouraged her and her friends to have numerous alcoholic drinks before she was escorted by one of Roethlisberger’s bodyguards -- identified by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation as Coraopolis, Pa., police officer Anthony Barravecchio -- into a hallway, where Roethlisberger later exposed himself to her.
‘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,’ she said in her statement. ‘I went to the first door I saw, which happened to be a bathroom.’
But Roethlisberger followed her in and shut the door, she said.
‘I still said no, this is not OK, and he then had sex with me,’ she wrote. ‘He said it was OK. He then left without saying anything.’
Two of the accuser’s friends said they saw her being led into the hallway and also saw Roethlisberger follow. Ann Marie Lubatti said she told one of Roethlisberger’s two bodyguards, ‘This isn’t right. My friend is back there with Ben. She needs to come back right now.’
Lubatti said the bodyguard -- identified by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation as Ed Joyner, a Pennsylvania state trooper -- would not look her in the eye and said he didn’t know what she was talking about.
Attorney Michael Santicola represents Barravecchio and said that Joyner also is a longtime friend. He has confirmed that the two officers were present, but not in an official capacity. He said the two men are friends with Roethlisberger and did not witness anything criminal or inappropriate. He said the officers ‘have no memory’ of meeting the accuser.
The documents also contain an acknowledgment by Milledgeville police Sgt. Jerry Blash, the officer who took the first report from the accuser, that he made derogatory statements about the accuser and may have been overheard by members of Roethlisberger’s party.
Blash, who was the only officer to interview Roethlisberger and who had posed for photos with the football star earlier in the evening of the alleged incident, resigned Wednesday, the day before the report was made public.
In addition, the documents include accusations by a 16-year-old in a youth law enforcement program run by the Milledgeville police. The accusations involve Roethlisberger and a friend’s sister, and the teenager said the woman’s brother told him about two unwanted sexual advances by the quarterback. The woman, who is in her early 20s, has repeatedly declined to be interviewed by authorities.
Roethlisberger is facing disciplinary action from the Steelers for his off-the-field behavior.
[Updated, 2:38 p.m.: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a detailed analysis of the contents of the document.]
-- Chuck Schilken
The Associated Press contributed to this report.