Steelers' Roethlisberger under investigation

NFL Notes

Quarterback is subject of probe into allegations of sexual assault

March 06, 2010|By From Sun news services

A 20-year-old college student accused Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of sexually assaulting her at a nightclub early Friday during a night on the town near where he owns a lake home.

Police said the alleged assault occurred early Friday morning in Milledgeville, about 85 miles southeast of Atlanta. The player owns a home about 30 miles to the north on Oconee Lake.

The two-time Super Bowl champion, who turned 28 on Tuesday, and some of his friends were seen visiting local restaurants and bars Thursday night.

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, a 20-year-old college student, and her party contacted a nearby police officer after the alleged assault.

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

Several areas of the nightclub were considered a crime scene, Malone said, but he would not elaborate.

Roethlisberger and the alleged victim have been interviewed and the woman was taken to a hospital, where she was treated and released, Malone said.

The victim was not identified by police.

Police said Roethlisberger and his attorney were cooperating with investigators. He was not in custody and has not been charged with a crime.

The allegations are especially sensitive for Roethlisberger, who has been sued by a woman who claims he raped her in 2008 at a Lake Tahoe hotel. He denies those allegations and has asked for counter-damages.

Bears: Julius Peppers joined Chicago in the biggest move by a team that showed it is intent on contending again after missing the playoffs the past three seasons.

The five-time Pro Bowl defensive end and top free-agent prize agreed to a six-year deal worth potentially $91.5 million.

Agent Carl Carey said a record $42 million is guaranteed, with Peppers earning $20 million in the first year. The deal includes incentives for sacks, making the Pro Bowl and winning Defensive Player of the Year.

Besides Peppers, the Bears lured former Ravens running back Chester Taylor from NFC North champion Minnesota with a four-year contract and blocking tight end Brandon Manumaleuna from San Diego with a five-year deal. Taylor's contract is worth $12.5 million with $7 million guaranteed, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiation. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.

Browns: Pro Bowl return specialist Josh Cribbs finally has a new three-year contract with Cleveland. Cribbs and Browns president Mike Holmgren announced the deal, a restructuring of the second half of the six-year, $6.77 million contract Cribbs signed in 2006. He will receive $7.5 million in guaranteed money, and if he reaches incentives, the 26-year-old could make as much as $20 million, according to reports.

Falcons: A person familiar with the negotiations says Atlanta has agreed to terms with free-agent cornerback Dunta Robinson, who had 13 interceptions in the past six seasons with Houston. The person spoke Friday on condition of anonymity because no contract has been signed.

Giants: New York made Antrel Rolle the richest safety in the NFL.

In the waning hours of the opening day of free agency, Rolle signed a five-year, $37 million contract that has $15 million in guaranteed money.

Agent Drew Rosenhaus tweeted the announcement late Friday, offering his personal congratulations to Rolle on becoming "the highest paid safety in NFL history!"

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