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.
After a sexual assault allegation was first lodged against Ben Roethlisberger in Georgia last Friday, the quarterback’s agent Ryan Tollner released this statement:
“Last night, Ben and his friends met a group of women and everyone mingled together throughout the evening. 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.”
The tone of Team Roethlisberger has since changed considerably.
Rhonda Cook and Bill Rankin of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION report Monday morning that Ben Roethlisberger has hired the same Atlanta attorney who got Ray Lewis off on murder charges in the ATL in 2000.
(SbB Photos of Roethlisberger at Milledgeville bar before incident)
Veteran Atlanta defense lawyer Ed Garland confirmed Monday that he is representing Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on allegations that he sexually assaulted a Georgia College & State University student.
Garland told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he has talked to Roethlisberger and already interviewed some witnesses. Garland said he would have no further comment.
In 2000, Garland represented Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who was charged with murder in a Buckhead street fight after a night of post-Super Bowl celebrating. In mid-trial, on June 5, 2000, Fulton County prosecutors dropped the murder charges against Lewis, allowing him to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge.
Lewis isn’t the only celebrity NFL player Garland has repped.