According to the Associated Press, an official decision is expected to be announced today at 2:00 p.m. ET via press conference by Georgia District Attorney Fred Bright regarding whether Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be criminally charged in a case of an alleged sexual assault at a Milledgeville, Georgia nightclub in early March.
Ben Roethlisberger, who is a two-time Super Bowl winner and 2007 Pro Bowl selection was accused by a 20 year-old female student at a nearby college of a sexual assault in the women’s restroom of Capitol City nightclub in Milledgeville, Georgia. This latest allegation against Roethlisberger comes as the second of two separate reports within the past year. In July of 2009, Roethlisberger became the target of a civil lawsuit in which he was accused of raping a female employee of Harrah’s Casino in his hotel room in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
Although no official announcement has been made in regards to the latest allegation of sexual assault against Roethlisberger, it is expected that charges will not be filed, according to an April 10, 2010 ESPN report. There remains a greater level of doubt with regards to the validity of the claims in the first alleged incident, as one co-worker reports that the alleged victim not only boasted about what she claimed was consensual sex with Roethlisberger, but additionally inquired if the co-worker would travel with her to Pittsburgh in the hope of having another chance meeting with Roethlisberger.
Still, there remains a significant deal of cause for concern among those within the Pittsburgh Steelers organization regarding the franchise relationship with Roethlisberger after the latest allegation of sexual assault, despite the enormous level of success he has helped to bring franchise on the field. As is the case with the pending judicial review, the Steelers organization and the NFL have yet to take action against Roethlisberger; however, the climate in Pittsburgh has begun to take a turn for the worse with regards the local public reception of Roethlisberger after the latest incident. According to ESPN, local media and fans alike have reacted to the latest allegation with far less skepticism of its validity or sympathy on behalf of Roethlisberger, which poses new questions as to whether his on the field success can continue without remaining tainted in the long run by his troubles off the field.