DOCUMENT: Sex, Sports, Crime

Ben Roethlisberger's Bad Play

Police reports detail NFL star's unseemly night in Georgia

Ben Roethlisberger

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Ben Roethlisberger's Bad Play

6/9 UPDATE: Georgia investigators release Roethlisberger evidence photos

APRIL 15--The college student who accused Ben Roethlisberger of sexually assaulting her last month in a Georgia nightclub told cops that the NFL star approached her "with his penis out of his pants" and followed her into a bathroom, where "he had sex with me" in spite of her objections.

The victim's account is included in 572 pages of Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) records detailing the probe of the booze-fueled March 5 incident involving the athlete and the 20-year-old woman, both of whom had spent that evening barhopping in Milledgeville, a college town 90 miles southeast of Atlanta. The woman told police that the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback raped her in a bathroom adjacent to the VIP section of the Capital City club.

In one of two handwritten police statements, the woman recalled that she told Roethlisberger, "No, this is not OK, and he then had sex with me. He said it was OK. He then left without saying anything." After the woman reconnected with friends, they left the club and "went to the first police car we saw," according to one statement.

The alleged victim, in a second statement, told investigators that she met Roethlisberger at The Velvet Elvis, a Milledgeville bar where the athlete called her and her friends "a tease." Later, at Capital City, the football star's bodyguards "told my friends they couldn't pass through to get to me," she recalled. A Milledgeville Police Department incident report indicates that the woman, whose name was redacted from investigative reports, initially told a cop that she was "sexually assaulted or sexually manipulated" by Roethlisberger.

The GBI documents, which were provided to TSG in response to an open records request, include interview reports with several of the alleged victim's friends, all of whom are sorority sisters from Georgia College and State University.

One witness, Ann Marie Lubatti, told investigators that she saw one of Roethlisberger's bodyguards guide the alleged victim to a side door. Lubatti said that she immediately approached another bodyguard and said, "This isn't right. My friend is back there with Ben. She needs to come back right now." Lubatti, who described Roethlisberger as "noticeably intoxicated," said she was rebuffed by the bodyguard, who remarked, "I don't know what you are talking about."

When Lubatti later spotted her friend, the alleged victim said, "We need to go now." Lubatti said the woman told her that Roethlisberger "walked back to where she was with his penis already out of his pants. She told him that they shouldn't be doing this and that it wasn't right." The woman told Lubatti that Roethlisberger had followed her into the bathroom and shut the door. "She continued to say she didn't want to have sex, but he kept saying, "No, it's OK." Lubatti said that her friend told of having unprotected sex with Roethlisberger. After hearing her friend's account, Lubatti and another woman, Nicole Biancofiore, "walked up to the first cop we saw and told them what happened."

Biancofiore also told police about seeing her friend disappear with Roethlisberger inside the club. She recalled telling the club's owner that her friend was "too drunk to be back there" with Roethlisberger, adding that the man assured her that "Ben would not do anything to ruin his reputation." Biancofiore said that when her friend resurfaced, the woman was crying and "she told us he raped her."

Another sorority sister, Victoria Garofalo, recalled that the alleged victim was wearing a name tag with the initials "DTF." The tag--which the woman had received at a birthday party earlier that evening--was the subject of an inside joke between the students. When Roethlisberger asked about the initials, "Garofalo explained that 'DTF' stood for 'down to fuck' and that it referred to a joke between" the women.

"I'm not down to fuck, but I like to fuck girls," Roethlisberger replied, according to a police report.

Witness Elizabeth Brooks told investigators of partying with Roethlisberger at Capital City, where he purchased a round of shots for women in the VIP room and announced, "All my bitches, take some shots."

The GBI records also include an interview report with Brad Aurila, a Roethlisberger pal who accompanied the athlete on the Milledgeville bar crawl. When the athlete's entourage returned to Roethlisberger's home, Aurila--who had noticed cops speaking with the NFL star at Capital City--asked Roethlisbeger what happened. "Roethlisberger explained to Aurila that nothing had happened," and that he was "in the back with a girl and they were 'messing around.'"

Aurila recalled that Roethlisberger said the "girl slipped and he helped her up and then came back out." Aurila noted that "he took 'messing around' to mean 'kissing, whatever,'" according to a GBI report. He added that Roethlisberger's demeanor was "angry and shocked that this was happening" as he spoke of the allegation leveled against him.

The GBI records also include a floor plan of the Capital Club, with the dimensions of the bathroom where the encounter occurred, as well as a search warrant authorizing investigators to collect a DNA sample from Roethlisberger, along with "hair follicles, specifically head and pubic." The samples were not eventually collected from Roethlisberger, because investigators were unable to retrieve more than trace amounts of male DNA from the alleged victim for matching purposes.

In a March 17 letter to prosecutor Fred Bright, a lawyer for the woman asked that the rape probe be dropped. "What is obvious in looking forward is that a criminal trial would be a very intrusive personal experience for a complainant in this situation, given the extraordinary media attention that would be inevitable," wrote attorney David Walbert. "The media coverage to date, and the efforts of the media to access our client, have been unnerving, to say the least." (23 pages)

Comments (3)

Mr. Wee Wee sez yOu gO girl and STAND FIRM BEHIND Barack just like you did that bafroom gurl. Mr. Wee Wee loves me sOme Ben Roethlisberger!
Her only objection was doing it in the bathroom stall. She had plans for doing him in the penthouse of a five star hotel ! Guess that did not work out...
He sure doesn't look like he does steroids, no sir! Nothing to see here, people, move along.