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As far as I know, Peyton Manning has never been accused of sexual assault. Same for Tom Brady. Same for Brett Favre. Same for Drew Brees.
Now, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been accused of sexual assault for a second time. The first accusation was brushed off as a woman looking for some money (her claim did seem suspicious). But, after another accusation, does Big Ben have a big problem?
Before I start accusing him myself (I wasn’t there), let’s take a look at the latest report.
Roethlisberger, who just turned 28 this past week, was out with a couple friends watching a University of Pittsburgh basketball game at a Georgia bar. Patrons at the bar noticed nothing out of the ordinary, and the QB “was very polite with everybody,” according to 24-year-old Paul Kurcikevicus.
Big Ben then moved onto a nightclub to “celebrate” and was escorted to a VIP area with a group of close friends and a group of women. Ben, to my knowledge, isn’t married, so this is a perfectly normal activity for a single professional athlete (Tiger, the key word is “single”).
The victim, a 20-year-old female college student, and her party contacted police after the alleged sexual assault.
“(Roethlisberger is) been identified as being at the scene and there are allegations naming him as the perpetrator,” Deputy Police Chief Richard Malone said.
The nature of the sexual assault is unknown, but Malone was quick to note that Roethlisberger is not being accused of rape.
Roethlisberger and the victim were interviewed by police, and the woman was taken to the hospital. She was later treated and released.
Roethlisberger’s agent Ryan Tollner seemed skeptical that his client had done anything wrong. He question’s the alleged victim’s motives, especially considering the QB’s past allegations.
“Last night, Ben and his friends met a group of women and everyone mingled together throughout the evening,” the agent’s statement said. “We have spoken to law enforcement. Based on information currently available, an allegation was made against Ben, which appeared to be dismissed after a preliminary investigation last night. Obviously, given the prior accusation against Ben, we are skeptical of motive, but we will continue to cooperate with everyone involved.”
Roethlisberger and his friends left Georgia on Friday, but police will be speaking with the QB again as the case begins to take shape.
In the world of sports and news, where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire. It’s true there are isolated cases that may be a mirage (like we all thought that Ben’s first allegation was), but when similar stories keep popping up with the same athlete, questions have to be asked.
I know it’s in my nature to be skeptical of anything and everyone, but I will give Roethlisberger the benefit of the doubt here. Unless he comes out and admits guilt, is found guilty in court, or decides to settle the case outside of the court room, then I believe that all people, including athletes, are innocent until proven guilty.
I understand, though, that it’s pretty hard to ignore a story when it keeps popping up. We’ll see how this case gets settled, and if any more pop up in the future.