Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger won't face criminal charges in an alleged sexual assault in Milledgeville, Ga.
A 20-year-old college student who accused him of assaulting her in a nightclub’s bathroom no longer wanted him prosecuted, Ocmulgee Circuit District Attorney Fred Bright said Monday.
Bright said that after exhaustive interviews and inconclusive medical exams, the student’s accusations could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
“Here the overall circumstances do not lead to a viable prosecution. If they did, I would be pursuing it vigorously,” Bright said. “We do not prosecute morals. We prosecute crimes.”
Roethlisberger, in his first public remarks since the accusations on March 5, read a 74-second statement Monday in the Steelers locker room.
“The prosecutor’s decision not to bring charges, I know without a doubt, is the right conclusion,” Roethlisberger said. “I don’t intend to discuss any details related to the events of Georgia. I’m happy to put this behind me and move forward.”
Roethlisberger also did not discuss his upcoming meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell or any possible punishment that might come from the league or the team for violating the players’ conduct code.
The woman could still bring action in civil court.
Roethlisberger is being sued by a different woman who says he raped her in 2008 at a Lake Tahoe hotel and casino, which he denies. Roethlisberger was not criminally charged in that case and has claimed counter-damages in the lawsuit.
Traded Holmes suspended
Wide receiver Santonio Holmes, who was traded from the Steelers to the New York Jets for fifth-round draft pick on Sunday, was suspended without pay by the NFL on Monday for the first four regular-season games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
“We understood that was part of it, but we just felt like even with that, it was worth it,” Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said.
Missouri billionaire Stan Kroenke will try to purchase the remaining 60 percent share of the St. Louis Rams. … Tennessee agreed to terms with quarterback Chris Simms, who will back up Vince Young and Kerry Collins. … QB Jason Campbell signed his $3.1 million tender with Washington Redskins, which leaves open the possibility he will be traded after Donovan McNabb was acquired from Philadelphia last week. … Unrestricted free agent right guard Bobbie Williams agreed to a two-year contract to stay with Cincinnati. … A Pittsburgh judge dismissed disorderly conduct and public drunkenness charges against Steelers kicker Jeff Reed.