NFL: Accuser of Steeers QB reports harrassing calls
MINDEN, Nev. ó The woman who has accused Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of raping her at a Lake Tahoe hotel-casino where she worked told authorities she has received dozens of threatening and harassing phone calls.
In a police report filed with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, the 31-year-old woman said she has received “well over 100” annoying messages since she filed a civil suit against the football star on July 17 in Washoe District Court in Reno.
The woman said people have left phone messages calling her a “whore” and threatening that “something’s going to happen” if she did not drop the lawsuit, according to the police report filed July 30.
The woman who worked as an executive VIP casino host at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe claims in her civil suit that the two-time Super Bowl winner lured her to his hotel room under false pretenses and raped her during a celebrity golf tournament last summer. She’s seeking a minimum of $490,000 plus punitive damages.
Roethlisberger has called the rape allegations “reckless and false,” and said he would fight them through the legal process.
The suit also accuses Harrah’s officials of covering up the alleged assault and going to great lengths to silence her after she says she reported it the next day to the hotel’s security chief.
Harrah’s officials have said they do not comment on pending legal matters.
The woman did not report the alleged assault to law enforcement authorities.
Sheriff’s deputies investigating the harassing phone calls said most of the caller ID numbers were blocked, but a few were recorded by the woman’s answering machine.
One was a threatening call from a male caller in Miami who spoke with a Russian accent and identified himself as Shad Winters, the police report said. Deputies left word on the man’s answering machine not to call the woman again and warned him he could face possible criminal charges, the report said.
Another phone number was from a caller in Pittsburgh, according to sheriff’s deputies, who have advised the woman to get an unlisted phone number.
All the calls were from men, except one call with “squealing girls,” the report said.
Michelle Anderson, dean of City University of New York School of Law, said backlash against accusers is not unusual in such cases.
“The court of public opinion tends to run sharply against those who allege sexual abuse by star athletes,” she said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
The woman has not responded to messages and notes left at her Gardnerville home seeking comment. Her lawyer, Cal Dunlap, also has refused comment.
By Sue Davis For The Salisbury Post While walking through the Salisbury Farmers Market last weekend I enjoyed the energy... read more