Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger should be thanking the heavens that he possesses the unique skill to throw a football sixty yards. If he was Ben the 28-year-old mill worker accused of raping a 20-year-old student in the bathroom of a college town bar, he’d be in prison awaiting trial.
Ben Roethlisberger should be thanking the heavens that he is white. If he was Ben the black guy accused of sexual assault in Georgia, he might not even make it to trial.
Ben Roethlisberger should be thanking the heavens that he is rich. If he didn’t have the lawyers to block any volunteering of his DNA, as well as lawyers poised to spend hours investigating the last details of a 20-year-old woman’s sexual history, he would be wearing the steel bracelets. And he likely wouldn’t have had his accuser, after going through the ordeal of a "rape kit," deciding that a high-publicity rape trial was not how she wanted to spend the next two years of her life.
Instead, because he resides on a white pedestal of wealth and fame, Ben Roethlisberger gets Ocmulgee, Georgia, District Attorney Frederick Bright telling Ben to "grow up" and little more. He gets DA Bright saying that he couldn’t indict because he didn’t think the case could be proven "beyond a reasonable doubt" or that he could make the case "100 percent."
And here I thought that was a judge or jury’s job, to determine whether a case could be proven "beyond a reasonable doubt." I thought that evidence is then gathered and presented at a trial. I thought that, as the saying goes, a DA could indict a ham sandwich if he saw fit. Of course, evidence was hard to come by after police didn’t seal the bathroom in question. In addition, investigating Milledgeville police officer Jerry Blash had been posing for pictures with Roethlisberger earlier in the evening. After questioning the accuser, it has been reported, Blash made derogatory comments about her. Blash has since been forced to resign.
It’s understandable that people who have been following this case only out of the corner of their eye might think that it is just a classic "he said/she said" situation. No charges were brought, and women try to scam pro jocks all the time, right? People who say that haven’t read the 572-page police report. They also haven’t read the civil suit that came out nine months earlier in which Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault. The reports are so similar, so patterned, so damning, that you are left with one of two conclusions: either Roethlisberger’s 20-year-old accuser is a sociopathic genius who set the millionaire up brilliantly, or Roethlisberger has a patterned modus operendi for how he goes about sexually assaulting women. Either in the middle of the night, in a state of addled inebriation and having sustained a bump on the head, the accuser recalled details of the Lake Tahoe police report (which she had memorized on the off chance she would meet Roethlsiberger in Milledgeville, Georgia), and she got him. Or Ben Roethlisberger did something very wrong on the night in question.