Roethlisberger fires back with countersuit

Ben Roethlisberger is seeking unspecified counter damages from a woman he says falsely accused him of rape in what his lawyer describes as a plan she hatched to seduce the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback in his Lake Tahoe casino-hotel room.

The woman alleged in a civil suit filed in Washoe (Nev.) District Court in July that Roethlisberger sexually assaulted her at Harrah’s in July 2008 after he lured her there under the false pretense of needing his television repaired.

Roethlisberger’s lawyer, John Echeverria, said in a response to the lawsuit filed this week that the woman made up the story because she knew it was against Harrah’s policy for employees to visit a guest’s room without a work-related purpose.

Her violation of the policy “was a deliberate step in her plan to seduce Mr. Roethlisberger,” Echeverria wrote.

“At all times while she was in Mr. Roethlisberger’s room, (the woman) acted voluntarily. Mr. Roethlisberger did not sexually assault, assault, batter, falsely imprison or otherwise commit any crime.”

The response to the lawsuit includes counterclaims against the two-time Super Bowl winner’s accuser for “extortion, abuse of process and defamation.”

He seeks unspecified damages in excess of $10,000 to compensate for “lost opportunity for endorsement deals and other revenues, damage to his reputation, emotional distress and legal fees and costs.”

The woman “willfully, intentionally and maliciously made and published unprivileged defamatory statements including that Mr. Roethlisberger sexually assaulted her,” Echeverria said.

Cal Dunlap, the woman’s lawyer, said Friday he had no comment on the new filing.

Ex-Patriot Francis in trouble

An owner of Omaha’s indoor football team has accused former team president and NFL great Russ Francis of theft.

A police report filed this month by Jeff Sprowls alleges Francis used a debit card 66 times without authorization and amassed charges of more than $29,000.

Francis was a tight end in the NFL during the 1970s and 1980s with New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers.

He was hired in May to run the Omaha Beef team. Sprowls fired him in August.

Extra points

The winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded underachieving defensive end Gaines Adams, the fourth overall pick in the 2007 draft out of Clemson, to the Chicago Bears for a second-round pick in the 2010 draft. … The NFL has fined Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis $25,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit delivered to Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco on Sunday. … The Saints put first-year receiver Rod Harper on injured reserve with a stress fracture in his left foot and brought back rookie quarterback Chase Daniel, a former Missouri standout whom New Orleans waived on Monday. … New York Jets wide receivers Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring) and Brad Smith (quadriceps) are doubtful to play against Buffalo after missing a third straight day of practice because of injuries. … Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall is expected to start against the Browns after going through a full practice Friday following a day off with flu-like symptoms. … Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has missed four of five practices this week with a right knee injury, is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game at Green Bay.