Ben Roethlisberger’s lawyer yesterday adamantly denied the allegations levied against the Steelers quarterback, who has been named in a lawsuit by a woman accusing him of sexually assaulting her last summer.
The woman was working as an executive casino host at Harrah’s in Lake Tahoe, Calif., last July when she said Roethlisberger struck up a friendly conversation at her desk during a celebrity tournament. According to the lawsuit, the woman claims Roethlisberger raped her the next night in his penthouse hotel room.
“Ben has never sexually assaulted anyone,’’ said David Cornwell, Roethlisberger’s lawyer, in a statement. “The timing of the lawsuit and the absence of a criminal complaint and a criminal investigation are the most compelling evidence of the absence of any criminal conduct.
“If an investigation is commenced, Ben will cooperate fully and Ben will be fully exonerated.’’
The lawsuit seeks a minimum of $440,000 in damages from the quarterback, at least $50,000 in damages from the Harrah’s officials, and an unspecified amount of punitive damages. The woman says she didn’t file a criminal complaint because she feared Harrah’s would side with Roethlisberger and she would be fired.
Details of the alleged assault are covered in the lawsuit. The woman claims she went to Roethlisberger’s room to address a problem he reported with his television. As she turned to leave, the suit claims, Roethlisberger blocked her exit and began to make sexual advances, which she rejected. “But instead of stopping,’’ as reported in the suit, Roethlisberger “held her against her will and physically moved [the] plaintiff and pushed her onto his bed’’ where he raped her.
The lawsuit also says the woman required hospitalization for treatment for depression after the alleged attack.
The woman’s lawyer, Calvin R. Dunlap, declined to answer questions about the lack of a criminal complaint and why the civil action was brought a year after the alleged incident took place.
“The process is ongoing, and I hope to make a decision sometime in the near future,’’ Goodell said, a day after Vick’s home confinement ended.
Goodell would not say when he’ll meet with Vick, 29, who is a free agent.