QB Roethlisberger: Rape Claim 'False and Vicious'

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2009 3:58 PM CDT
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at the press conference today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger today denied allegations he raped a woman at a Nevada resort last year, the Post-Gazette reports. The suit was filed last week, but today marked Roethlisberger’s first public statements. He called the allegations “an attack on my family” and vowed to “remain focused on the Pittsburgh Steelers.”

“I did not sexually assault” the accuser, Roethlisberger said. “Saturday was the first that I learned of her accusations. Her false and vicious allegations are an attack on my family and on me. I would never, ever, force myself on a woman. I am going to fight to protect my family and my reputation. I’m not going to discuss my private life or this civil case in the media. I’ll respond to her outrageous allegations in the appropriate forum.”