Roethlisberger Denies Allegation
UPDATED (2:43 p.m.)...
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger denied an allegation that he sexually assaulted a woman last year in a Lake Tahoe hotel room, calling the accusation "reckless and false."
Roethlisberger made a brief statement Thursday afternoon at the Steelers' training complex, and did not remain to answer reporters' questions.
The allegation against the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback was made in a lawsuit filed by the woman last week in Nevada.
"I did not sexually assault [the woman]," Roethlisberger said. "Saturday was the first that I learned of her accusations. Her false and vicious allegations are an attack on my family and on me. I would never, ever force myself on a woman.
"I'm gonna fight to protect my family and my reputation. I'm not going to discuss my private life or this civil case in the media. I will respond to her outrageous allegations in the appropriate forum.
"I have an obligation to our fans, to my teammates, to my coaches and everyone in the organization to remain focused on the Pittsburgh Steelers, and I will do that. The allegations against me are reckless and false. As much as I'd like to answer everyone's questions, I'm going to respect the legal process and I am confident that the truth will prevail."
Thursday's statement was Roethlisberger's first public comment since the lawsuit was filed.
David Cornwell, an attorney representing Roethlisberger, previously denied that Roethlisberger sexually assaulted the woman and promised a vigorous defense.
Law enforcement officials in Nevada have indicated they have no plans to open a criminal investigation into the allegation without a criminal complaint being filed by the woman.
The Washington Post is not publishing the woman's name because of the nature of the allegations.
A previously scheduled news conference in which Roethlisberger was to participate Thursday to promote a television appearance had been canceled.
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