Roethlisberger accused of sexual assault in Nevada lawsuit

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A civil lawsuit was filed last week in Reno, Nev., accusing Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of sexual assault.

The lawsuit was filed in Washoe County, Nev., and accuses the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback of assaulting a woman in July 2008. Roethlisberger is named in the lawsuit along with nine co-defendants.

Roethlisberger's attorney, David Cornwell, acknowledged the suit to various media outlets, but released a statement denying the claim."Ben has never sexually assaulted anyone," Cornwell said in the statement.

The story was first reported by Pro Football, which said that a female Harrah's casino employee had alleged the sexual assault against Roethlisberger. According to the Web site's report, the civil suit alleged that Roethlisberger asked the employee to come to his hotel room to fix the television, and that he later forced her to have sex with him.

Cornwell issued this statement on Roethlisberger's behalf late Monday night to various media outlets, including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "This weekend Andrea McNulty served Ben Roethlisberger with a civil complaint accusing him of sexually assaulting her in July 2008. Ben has never sexually assaulted anyone; especially Andrea McNulty. 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.

"Ben will not be baited into a public discussion about his personal life, but we will defend him vigorously. The limited value that Ms. McNulty derived from public disclosure of these viciously false allegations is the only value she will ever receive from Ben in this case," the statement said.

In an interview late Monday night with Pittsburgh television station WTAE-TV, Steelers spokesman Dave Lockett said, "We are aware of the allegations but cannot comment on the specifics of the case. We've been told Ben's side of the story and we fully support him at this time."