WTAE-TV reports late this week that Ben Roethlisberger’s sexual assault accuser recently attended a “sorority retreat” in the North Georgia mountains and plans to go back to school soon.
His accuser may return to Georgia College & State University as early as this week, according to the woman’s lawyer. She took a leave of absence and went home to her parents in Atlanta after media descended on the tiny college town where she claims to have been assaulted.
The 20-year-old woman made a surprise appearance over the weekend at a sorority retreat in the mountains of northern Georgia. Her sisters said she was acting very normal and just wanted to get away for the weekend and didn’t want to talk about the allegations.
With the way things are going for Roethlisberger in this case, those seemingly mundane details might end up part of a case the quarterback’s attorney is building against the accuser if the QB is eventually charged with a crime.
I say that because based on the information made available to the public, along with the actions of Roethlisberger attorney Ed Garland, it appears the quarterback’s counsel views the background of the accuser as perhaps the most critical component of a possible court proceeding. Otherwise Garland wouldn’t have hurriedly hired high-profile private investigator Charles Middlestadt to presumably dig into the accuser’s personal life.
Immediately after Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault, his agent Ryan Tollner essentially scoffed at the allegations in an ill-advised press release, noting that Team Big Ben was “skeptical” of the accusation while adding that Roethlisberger thought the situation had already resolved itself. (Can’t blame him after seeing how chummy the Milledgeville police were with the Steelers quarterback that night.)
Shortly thereafter though Roethlisberger hired the best attorney in the state money could buy, along with a prominent local P.I. to delve into the background of the accuser.
What caused Roethlisberger to reverse field so quickly?
It’s reasonable to think that the accounts of the night in question from the accuser and Roethlisberger, along with testimony from friends of the accuser and the quarterback could cancel each other out. With disconnected witnesses a wildcard.
Though at the moment, this is the only non-contradictory public information we have that could be material to the case:
1) The woman was examined at a hospital after the alleged attack.
2) Roethlisberger has admitted to sexual contact with the alleged victim, without intercourse, and said that during the incident the woman “fell on her head.”
Can the case be decided on just those facts? Most likely no. That leaves the credibility of the accuser and the defendant as an integral element to any interpretation of what really happened in Capitol City’s VIP bathroom.
To this point in his life, Roethlisberger’s most important personal protection has always been his offensive lineman. That responsibilty though may soon fall on the quarterback’s newly-hired P.I., Charles Middlestadt.
Last time Roethlisberger relies on Willie Colon to pass block.