Steelers QB accused of sexual assault in Georgia

Associated Press Modified: March 6, 2010 at 1:20 pm •  Published: March 5, 2010
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MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's night of bar-hopping in a central Georgia college town ended with a new allegation against him after a 20-year-old college student told police he sexually assaulted her in a nightclub.

The two-time Super Bowl winner already faces a lawsuit from a woman who claims he raped her in 2008 at a Lake Tahoe hotel and casino, an allegation he strongly denies. Roethlisberger has not been charged in either case.

The latest accusation came early Friday in downtown Milledgeville, about 85 miles southeast of Atlanta and about 30 miles south of the lake home the player owns.

Roethlisberger, who turned 28 on Tuesday, and two or three friends went to Buffington's bar earlier Thursday night to watch the University of Pittsburgh men's college basketball game, said Paul Kurcikevicus, a 24-year-old college student.

He said the group was friendly, at first joking that Roethlisberger was not the NFL player. Kurcikevicus said Roethlisberger bought shots for him and some other people in the bar: "O-Bombs," a mixture of energy drink and flavored rum.

The student said Roethlisberger got excited at the end of the game, when a Pitt player hit a 3-point shot at the buzzer to win 73-71 and avoid an upset by Providence.

The group later went to The Brick restaurant nearby, owner Frank Pendergrast said.

"He was very polite with everybody," Pendergrast said. "He was down here from about 11:30 until about 1:30 having a good time, talking to a lot of people. Looked like he was signing autographs and letting people take pictures. Other than that, it was really uneventful."

Roethlisberger was later seen at Capital City, a popular nightclub for students at Georgia College State University in Milledgeville. The club was bustling Friday night, with a country band playing and a $20 cover charge.

One patron, 21-year-old college student Brandon Harris, said he saw Roethlisberger come in the night before with two or three big men, who were keeping other club goers away from the player. Harris said the group went into a curtained VIP area in the back of the club, and some women were let inside.

What happened next is under investigation.

Deputy Police Chief Richard Malone said Roethlisberger had been with three other people who were mingling with another group that included the alleged victim. Malone said the woman and her party contacted a nearby police officer following the alleged assault.

"He's been identified as being at the scene and there are allegations naming him as the perpetrator," Malone said.

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