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Police plan to interview Roethlisberger

UPDATED (5:01 p.m.)...

Investigators in Georgia are arranging to meet with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger about the accusation that he sexually assaulted a woman last week, the police chief in Milledgeville, Ga., said Monday.

Woodrow Blue, the police chief, said at a news conference that he expected the interviews with Roethlisberger and people who were with him at a nightclub on the night of the alleged incident to occur within the next two to three days.

"They are cooperating with us in this investigation," Blue said at the news conference.

A 20-year-old college student reportedly has accused Roethlisberger of sexually assaulting her at a nightclub in Milledgeville.

Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the Steelers, has not been charged with a crime.

Atlanta attorney Edward Garland, who represents Roethlisberger, said that Roethlisberger "is completely innocent of any crime," according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"The facts show that there was no criminal activity," Garland said, according to the newspaper. "No sexual assault occurred. Ben is completely innocent of any crime. The truth of the events should cause this investigation to end without a criminal charge. I will not go into detail at this time, but will in the future."

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the district attorney involved with the investigation said earlier Monday that it has not been completed.

"The investigation is ongoing," Frederic D. Bright, the district attorney for the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit, said in a written statement, according to the Post-Gazette. "It would be premature to make any announcement at this time. When the facts are in, and a decision is made, we will let you know."

Art Rooney II, the president of the Steelers, said in a written statement that the team is closely following developments in the investigation.

"All of us in the Steelers family are concerned about the recent incident involving Ben Roethlisberger in Georgia," Rooney said in the statement, which was released by the team Monday. "We cannot comment on any of the specifics until law enforcement's investigation is concluded. Certainly, we will continue to closely monitor the situation."

Roethlisberger has hired Garland, who represented Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis in 2000 in a case stemming from the killings of two men. Lewis pleaded guilty to misdemeanor obstruction of justice.

Roethlisberger also has been accused in a civil lawsuit by a Nevada woman of sexually assaulting her in 2008 in a Lake Tahoe hotel room.

Roethlisberger has denied that allegation.

He has faced no criminal charges in the Nevada case.

By Mark Maske  |  March 8, 2010; 4:28 PM ET  | Category:  Steelers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Big Ben is an idiot and so is anyone else that goes to strip joints. If he is guilty of any sexual assault, they need to throw the book at him. Bad behavior should not be excused.

Posted by: hessone | March 9, 2010 1:27 PM

Mike Tyson never got beat in the ring until Desiree Washington beat him in court and put him in prison -- and deservedly so. I think either way that this turns out, Roethlisberger's football career will suffer. I also think Kobe's situation was a little different in that he was still able to play many games during and after the allegations and judicial process. Ben won't have that many chances to remake his image and feel the comfort that athletes seem to have inbetween the lines.

Posted by: bkhoward1 | March 9, 2010 11:54 AM

I am a Steelers fan. I'm very troubled with the allegations against Ben Roethlisberger. It is my hope that he is only guilty of gross stupidity. In which case, the Steelers should really curtail his partying ways.

If he is actually guilty of sexual assault, then it looks like we'll have to find another QB. No one, no above the law.

Posted by: kban495 | March 8, 2010 10:53 PM

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