Accuser was afraid of Big Ben's temper

June 10, 2010

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. -- A Georgia college student said she felt powerless to stop a short-tempered Ben Roethlisberger from having sex with her in a bar bathroom even though she told him to stop, telling investigators: "I'm a little girl and he's a big boy."

Her interviews with police were among more than 50 audio and video clips released Wednesday from the investigation into Roethlisberger's late-night carousing in a Georgia college town, a sordid incident that didn't result in criminal charges but reinforced his reputation for petulant behavior and earned him an NFL suspension.

The DVDs offered the first extensive account by the accuser, who hasn't spoken publicly, as well as less than a minute of shaky Roethlisberger footage from the club. With loud music blaring, the Pittsburgh Steelers star asks a girl what her drink tastes like, doles out high-fives, strikes a pose, punches his fist in the air twice and flashes a huge grin for the camera.


Before the night was done, he was accused of sexually assaulting the 20-year-old woman, who said she didn't try to fight him off because he appeared to anger easily.

"I noticed throughout the night he kind of had like a short temper, like he would get really, like, defensive," she told investigators, but didn't elaborate on what made her think that.

The local prosecutor determined there wasn't enough evidence to warrant criminal charges, and he said the woman ultimately asked him not to prosecute the quarterback.

The accuser was interviewed twice by police -- the first time shortly after she made the accusation early March 5, and a second time about 12 hours later at the police station.

The woman sounded intoxicated when she spoke with Milledgeville officer Jason Lopez in the first interview. Her words were slurred and she even says at one point, "Obviously, I'm drunk." An audio recording of that interview was made.

During the first interview, she said she repeatedly told Roethlisberger, "I really don't think this is OK," but couldn't stop him from having sex with her.

"I don't know what I can ... do," she said. "I'm a little girl and he's a big boy."

The accuser told police she is 5-foot-4 and weighs 145 pounds. Roethlisberger is listed at 6-5 and 241 pounds.

Lopez asked the woman if she knew why Roethlisberger would feel "it was OK to do this to you."

While the accuser acknowledged wearing an explicit name tag, which was left over from a friend's birthday party earlier in the night, she denied leading him on.

"I wasn't forward in any way," she said. "I wasn't like, 'Oh my gosh, have sex with me because you're an NFL superstar.'"

The next afternoon, the woman went to the police station for a follow-up interview that was videotaped. She was calm and matter-of-fact when discussing the previous night, struggling to remember a few details but adamant that she had been assaulted by Roethlisberger. She said he first exposed himself to her in a hallway, then followed her into the bathroom.

In the video, the woman's face was blurred. She was wearing a navy blue T-shirt and jeans had her blonde hair pulled back. She told police she didn't think trying to fight Roethlisberger would stop the assault.

"I figured it wouldn't help anything," she said. "I didn't want, obviously, him to hurt me any more than he was going to."

The videos are the most extensive account yet by the accuser, though written statements she gave investigators have been released. She has not returned calls seeking comment. The Associated Press generally doesn't name those who say they were sexually assaulted.

Nicole Biancofiore, a friend of the accuser, also said she saw Roethlisberger flash his temper when another friend hesitated to accept drinks from him.

"She said, 'I don't think we should.' I turned back around and he got really angry. He said, 'Forget it. You're done. That's it,"' Biancofiore told investigators.

In Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger took part in a Steelers practice session but didn't talk with the media. He was escorted off the field by a team spokesman.

Later in an interview with WTAE-TV at his home, he apologized to the fans.

"I strive every day and I bust my butt to be the best quarterback in the NFL for these fans and the Steelers, but I'm going to strive even harder to be the best off the field -- to be the best role model and community leader and whatever I can be off the field," Roethlisberger said, according to excepts posted on the station's website.

"I owe that to the fans because I have made a lot of mistakes," Roethlisberger said, according to the station. "From the bottom of my heart, I'm so sorry to them if I've ever wronged even one fan. I am so sorry. I'm going to do everything in my power not to let it happen again."

The quarterback was suspended for the first six games of the upcoming season, though commissioner Roger Goodell said he could reduce it to four if Roethlisberger shows he is committed to improving his off-the-field behavior.

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