The attorney for a Georgia College & State University student who accused Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of sexual assault at a Milledgeville nightclub this month said Thursday their client is still cooperating with investigators.
In an e-mail, attorney Lee Parks of the Atlanta law firm Parks, Chesin and Walbert issued a statement that counters a report from a Pittsburgh television station that said the accuser was no longer cooperating with investigators.
“Recent misstatements in the media regarding our client’s cooperation with the current investigation require us to make this statement,” Parks’ e-mail stated. “Our client is cooperating fully with law enforcement in this matter. Future interviews have been scheduled, and our client will attend.”
Milledgeville Police Chief Woodrow Blue said the 20-year-old woman has responded to investigators’ interview requests.
“The (alleged) victim is cooperating,” Blue said.
The statements from Blue and Park contradict a report from Pittsburgh CBS affiliate KDKA. The TV station reported Thursday the woman “missed a scheduled interview last week.” The station attributed the report to “sources close to the investigation” but didn’t provide any more detail.
There also have been reports from multiple media outlets that Roethlisberger’s attorneys have declined law enforcement requests for a second interview with the football player. Roethlisberger was interviewed by Milledgeville police after the alleged incident took place at the Capital City nightclub.
Blue wouldn’t confirm whether Roethlisberger’s attorneys were denying a request for a second interview.
“I’m not commenting on any part of the investigation,” Blue said.
Messages left Thursday for Atlanta attorney Ed Garland, Roethlisberger’s lawyer, were not returned.
Meanwhile, a report Wednesday by The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review newspaper said video footage from Capital City from the night of the alleged incident has been recorded over, and investigators are unable to retrieve it.
The newspaper quotes Milledgeville attorney Carl Cansino, who has been retained by the nightclub. Cansino told the newspaper that the video system recorded over the footage from that night. He also told the newspaper there were no cameras near the unisex bathroom where the incident allegedly took place.
“The DVD system overwrote itself,” Cansino told The Tribune-Review. “Had it just been deleted, they might have been able to save some of it.”
Telegraph efforts to reach Cansino on Thursday were unsuccessful. Blue wouldn’t comment on that report. Cansino told The Tribune-Review that video footage shot by members of Roethlisberger’s party that night had been turned over to investigators.
This week, GBI officials confirmed they had rescinded a request seeking a DNA sample from Roethlisberger.
Blue said there is no timetable for when charges might be filed or turned over to the district attorney’s office.
Information from the Associated Press was included in this report. To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.