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hawaiiansteel
03-08-2010, 02:16 AM
Fellow students rallying around Roethisberger accuser

By Carl Prine, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, March 8, 2010



MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. In a quaint town best known for its insane asylum and twin college campuses, Milledgeville residents are huddling around the 20-year-old Zeta Tau Alpha sorority sister who has accused Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of sexually assaulting her in the dingy corner of a popular bar last week.

TV camera crews continue to camp outside the Capital City bar even when it was closed Sunday turning a town devoid of celebrities and scandal into the epicenter of the sports world. ESPN vans gobbled up a large chunk of Wayne Street parking.

"At first, you saw ESPN there and you thought, 'Well, this is a big deal.' But when you know the girl and you know that she would never bring this on herself, that she doesn't want publicity, then you feel sorry for her," said Dan Kaufman, 23, a senior at Georgia College & State University, where they both attend school.

"The fact of the matter is that she doesn't want this type of attention," agreed Jennifer Noice, 21, a former sister of her sorority. "People shouldn't judge her if they don't know her."

They echoed the sentiments of several other students who told the Trib they were close friends of the woman, whom authorities have not identified.

Employees of the nightclub where Roethlisberger, 28, allegedly sexually assaulted the young woman between 11 p.m. Thursday and 2:30 a.m. Friday said outsiders shouldn't indict the popular watering hole.

Saturday night's manager, Will Britt, 35, a city councilman in nearby Statesboro, took the Trib on a tour of the teeming tavern. A thin black curtain demarcates the VIP room where Roethlisberger spent nearly two hours with an entourage of large men, but it's easy to peek inside the room from numerous angles through a window near the bustling bar.

Because Thursday is the busiest night of the week, as many as eight bouncers patrolled the dance floor and the black velvet rope barricade downstairs.

In Georgia, 18-year-olds can mix in the clubs with drinkers, but liquor laws forbid bartenders from serving any patrons without a bright bracelet indicating they're older than 21. The second-floor VIP room serves as a stage area when big acts come to the bar, but it was sectioned off Thursday.

"They say it happened in the staff bathroom here," said Britt, pointing to a door in a dark, drafty aisle near the VIP section. "But that door is always locked, and people can see into the VIP room easily."

The restroom is near a storage room holding janitorial supplies, a grocery cart, spent boxes of booze waiting to be crushed and a disassembled mechanical bull, its tan and milky hide slumped on the floor as bass notes blared from a crowded dance floor.

Its dim corners can't be seen from the bar. Security cameras dot the club, but none appeared to be trained on the dark back room because no one but workers ever went back there, Britt said.

Milledgeville police and agents of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation searched the room shortly after the woman told an officer on downtown foot patrol that Roethlisberger assaulted her. According to detectives, at their request she received care in the Oconee Regional Medical Center.

National Football League spokesman Greg Aiello said the commissioner's office and NFL security "are not commenting on an ongoing police investigation."

Roethlisberger, who spends part of his offseason at his mansion on Oconee Lake about 30 miles north of Milledgeville, hasn't been charged with any crime. His agent, Ryan Tollner, did not return telephone calls seeking comment yesterday.

"When it's cold at night, there isn't much going on around the lake," Britt said. "That's when they come down to Milledgeville."

According to dozens of witnesses interviewed by the Trib, Roethlisberger's pub crawl began about 10 p.m. Thursday at The Velvet Elvis and migrated with his entourage and follow-on fans to at least three other bars before alighting at Capital City about midnight. When he wasn't in the tavern's VIP room, he signed autographs, mugged for photos and affably talked with the crowds, witnesses said.

"We thought the guys with him were offensive tackles or guards in the NFL," said Joseph Gaglia, 18, a student at Georgia Military College. "They weren't causing any trouble that I saw."

A police news conference is slated for today in Milledgeville, about 80 miles southeast of Atlanta. With five police forces Georgia College & State has one, along with Georgia Military College and Baldwin County Milledgeville boasts a constant law enforcement presence and a minuscule crime rate.

The accuser attends Georgia College & State University, known as GSCU, which reported two rape investigations in 2006 and two more in 2008, according to public filings detailing campus crimes. The mandatory 2009 report to the U.S. Department of Education hasn't been posted yet.

A five-minute walk across campus would take a female student past four emergency stations complete with sirens, blue flashing lights and a red panic button. The alleged sexual assault, however, took place two blocks from GCSU's border.

"This incident happened off campus," GCSU spokeswoman Judy Bailey said. "But we're concerned about any safety issue. Hopefully, this will turn out to be an isolated incident.

"We have a very safe campus. We're well known for that safety record. Parents trust that this is a very safe place to send their children to school, and we take that trust very seriously."

Bailey said that GCSU's police department has pledged to assist Milledgeville and GBI detectives. Her campus offers health counseling to students 24 hours every day.

The crime the town is probably best known for is the twin 1974 slayings of two hitchhikers by spree killer John Paul Knowles, the "Casanova Killer" who reportedly killed 33 other people, including a state trooper.

In recent years, however, the shuttering of several carpet mills, the decline of the local prison industry and the shrinking rolls of the 168-year-old Central State Hospital for mental health patients have dominated headlines.

Milledgeville is a gorgeous antebellum town spared destruction by the Union army during the Civil War. The town erected a plaque to honor native son Oliver Hardy of the Laurel and Hardy comedy duo. Early 20th century residents knew him by his nickname, "Fatty."

Deceased Congressman Carl Vinson came from Milledgeville, and a Navy aircraft carrier bears his name today. Memory Hill Cemetery is the final resting place for novelist Flannery O'Connor. Former Steelers fullback J.T. Wall coaches a local high school team.

Townsfolk are quick to mention that Julia Roberts' character in the 1990 movie "Pretty Woman" says she arrived in California from Milledgeville.

Retired teacher and prison official Carl Maak, 59, said the city has remained out of the media spotlight since he arrived in 1971 from Rutherford, N.J., as a GSCU student.

"When I first arrived, I thought Milledgeville was at the end of the world. Now I don't say that," he said. "It's not at the end of the world, but you can see it from here."

SanAntonioSteelerFan
03-08-2010, 02:33 AM
Fellow students rallying around Roethisberger accuser

By Carl Prine, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, March 8, 2010



MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. In a quaint town best known for its insane asylum and twin college campuses, Milledgeville residents are huddling around the 20-year-old Zeta Tau Alpha sorority sister who has accused Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of sexually assaulting her in the dingy corner of a popular bar last week.

TV camera crews continue to camp outside the Capital City bar even when it was closed Sunday turning a town devoid of celebrities and scandal into the epicenter of the sports world. ESPN vans gobbled up a large chunk of Wayne Street parking.

"At first, you saw ESPN there and you thought, 'Well, this is a big deal.' But when you know the girl and you know that she would never bring this on herself, that she doesn't want publicity, then you feel sorry for her," said Dan Kaufman, 23, a senior at Georgia College & State University, where they both attend school.

"The fact of the matter is that she doesn't want this type of attention," agreed Jennifer Noice, 21, a former sister of her sorority. "People shouldn't judge her if they don't know her."

They echoed the sentiments of several other students who told the Trib they were close friends of the woman, whom authorities have not identified.

Employees of the nightclub where Roethlisberger, 28, allegedly sexually assaulted the young woman between 11 p.m. Thursday and 2:30 a.m. Friday said outsiders shouldn't indict the popular watering hole.

Saturday night's manager, Will Britt, 35, a city councilman in nearby Statesboro, took the Trib on a tour of the teeming tavern. A thin black curtain demarcates the VIP room where Roethlisberger spent nearly two hours with an entourage of large men, but it's easy to peek inside the room from numerous angles through a window near the bustling bar.

Because Thursday is the busiest night of the week, as many as eight bouncers patrolled the dance floor and the black velvet rope barricade downstairs.

In Georgia, 18-year-olds can mix in the clubs with drinkers, but liquor laws forbid bartenders from serving any patrons without a bright bracelet indicating they're older than 21. The second-floor VIP room serves as a stage area when big acts come to the bar, but it was sectioned off Thursday.

"They say it happened in the staff bathroom here," said Britt, pointing to a door in a dark, drafty aisle near the VIP section. "But that door is always locked, and people can see into the VIP room easily."

The restroom is near a storage room holding janitorial supplies, a grocery cart, spent boxes of booze waiting to be crushed and a disassembled mechanical bull, its tan and milky hide slumped on the floor as bass notes blared from a crowded dance floor.

Its dim corners can't be seen from the bar. Security cameras dot the club, but none appeared to be trained on the dark back room because no one but workers ever went back there, Britt said.

Milledgeville police and agents of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation searched the room shortly after the woman told an officer on downtown foot patrol that Roethlisberger assaulted her. According to detectives, at their request she received care in the Oconee Regional Medical Center...."


This is really encouraging - if the cops found it locked when they investigated early that AM, then it looks really good for Ben if she said "it" happened in there.

Chadman
03-08-2010, 02:38 AM
Why is it ok to NAME Ben Roethlisberger as the accused, with no actual charge being layed down, but the 'victim' doing the accusing doesn't have her name splashed around?

This seems unfair.

Basically, you can say anything you like- Ben did this, Ben did that, while never having to reveal who you are yourself. Not a bad system...

Chadman
03-08-2010, 02:52 AM
The more I think about it, the less I like it.

Seriously, 'innocent until proven guilty' holds no ground if the media splashes 'news' around like it's gossip time at a mothers group.

We all agree that, guilty or not, Ben's reputation is forever tarnished as a result of this accusation.

If he's innocent of this accusation, we'll all still expect him to 'make good' with the community, to rebuild his reputation in our eyes. He's 'guilty of bad judgement' is a load of crap too- this coming from all of us- the talking heads who never experience the fish bowl life that celebrities must live.

Ben can't win here. He's guilty, we all hate him. He's innocent, we all suspect there is some element of truth that got buried in the legal system.

Yet, this accuser, is an unknown. A nobody. Not even a face to go with the accusation. And there's Ben, pants down in front of the world, having to defend his reputation to fans of a sporting team he happens to play for, on an accusation that hasn't been proven.

On a charge that hasn't even been laid.

Justice is dead, regardless of the outcome.

StarSpangledSteeler
03-08-2010, 03:34 AM
The more I think about it, the less I like it.

Seriously, 'innocent until proven guilty' holds no ground if the media splashes 'news' around like it's gossip time at a mothers group.

We all agree that, guilty or not, Ben's reputation is forever tarnished as a result of this accusation.

If he's innocent of this accusation, we'll all still expect him to 'make good' with the community, to rebuild his reputation in our eyes. He's 'guilty of bad judgement' is a load of crap too- this coming from all of us- the talking heads who never experience the fish bowl life that celebrities must live.

Ben can't win here. He's guilty, we all hate him. He's innocent, we all suspect there is some element of truth that got buried in the legal system.

Yet, this accuser, is an unknown. A nobody. Not even a face to go with the accusation. And there's Ben, pants down in front of the world, having to defend his reputation to fans of a sporting team he happens to play for, on an accusation that hasn't been proven.

On a charge that hasn't even been laid.

Justice is dead, regardless of the outcome.


true... but on a positive note, i like the first three picks on your mock...

The Man of Steel
03-08-2010, 08:27 AM
Now I ain't sayin' she a gold digger (When I'm in need)
But she ain't messin' wit no broke, broke (She steal me money)

Jooser
03-08-2010, 08:32 AM
Now I ain't sayin' she a gold digger (When I'm in need)
But she ain't messin' wit no broke, broke (She steal me money)

:wft :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Oviedo
03-08-2010, 09:07 AM
Not surprising. The students are going to rally around "one of their own" even if it was an axe murderer especially in the sorority/fraternity sub culture that exists at most major universities. Living next to a major university (UCF) the students live in a la la land of what the real world is about and it is very much a we versus they mindset.

Mister Pittsburgh
03-08-2010, 09:09 AM
I am going to laugh if the allegations are that he tried to kiss her and felt her boob.

stlrz d
03-08-2010, 09:29 AM
What a sensationalist headline.

JAR
03-08-2010, 09:31 AM
What a sensationalist headline.

Check out this one..

Ben Roethlisberger's stupid behavior justifies New York Giants' choice in 2004 draft

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/footb ... z0hakB8AWb (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/2010/03/08/2010-03-08_big_blue_avoids_big_bens_mess.html#ixzz0hakB8AW b)

stlrz d
03-08-2010, 09:37 AM
What a sensationalist headline.

Check out this one..

Ben Roethlisberger's stupid behavior justifies New York Giants' choice in 2004 draft

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/footb ... z0hakB8AWb (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/2010/03/08/2010-03-08_big_blue_avoids_big_bens_mess.html#ixzz0hakB8AW b)

I'll pass. :D

feltdizz
03-08-2010, 10:25 AM
I am going to laugh if the allegations are that he tried to kiss her and felt her boob.

I don't think that's funny...

If it was his first headline involving sex I would agree.

Ben's name is attached to another case with the word rape in it... trying to kiss and touch a boob is not a good look.

JAR
03-08-2010, 10:44 AM
I am going to laugh if the allegations are that he tried to kiss her and felt her boob.

I don't think that's funny...

If it was his first headline involving sex I would agree.

Ben's name is attached to another case with the word rape in it... trying to kiss and touch a boob is not a good look.

No he's not associated with a rape case. The McNulty crap is sexual assault, not rape.

pfelix73
03-08-2010, 10:51 AM
I am going to laugh if the allegations are that he tried to kiss her and felt her boob.


LOL- I was thinking the same thing. :tt1

feltdizz
03-08-2010, 10:54 AM
I am going to laugh if the allegations are that he tried to kiss her and felt her boob.

I don't think that's funny...

If it was his first headline involving sex I would agree.

Ben's name is attached to another case with the word rape in it... trying to kiss and touch a boob is not a good look.

No he's not associated with a rape case. The McNulty crap is sexual assault, not rape.

I thought McNulty said she was raped in the civil trial...

I know he isn't being charged in the first trial but I thought she said she was raped and was scared to come forward.

JAR
03-08-2010, 10:59 AM
I am going to laugh if the allegations are that he tried to kiss her and felt her boob.

I don't think that's funny...

If it was his first headline involving sex I would agree.

Ben's name is attached to another case with the word rape in it... trying to kiss and touch a boob is not a good look.

No he's not associated with a rape case. The McNulty crap is sexual assault, not rape.

I thought McNulty said she was raped in the civil trial...

I know he isn't being charged in the first trial but I thought she said she was raped and was scared to come forward.

No, Ben was not accused of rape. Damn, some of you guys...

feltdizz
03-08-2010, 11:09 AM
I am going to laugh if the allegations are that he tried to kiss her and felt her boob.

I don't think that's funny...

If it was his first headline involving sex I would agree.

Ben's name is attached to another case with the word rape in it... trying to kiss and touch a boob is not a good look.

No he's not associated with a rape case. The McNulty crap is sexual assault, not rape.

I thought McNulty said she was raped in the civil trial...

I know he isn't being charged in the first trial but I thought she said she was raped and was scared to come forward.

No, Ben was not accused of rape. Damn, some of you guys...
:wft Then why is he linked to the first case? It wasn't for getting his TV fixed.

I already stated he isn't being charged in the first case but um... OK.

I'm pretty sure the word rape is in the transcript of her civil trial vs the casino.

Shawn
03-08-2010, 11:37 AM
It's unfortunate that mere accusations with zero evidence...one girls word against Bens that "his reputation" is tarnished. Have any of you been accused of something you haven't done? I know I have. I have had people lie about me before...and I'm not worth 100 million dollars.

Get some evidence then come back and talk to me.

feltdizz
03-08-2010, 12:30 PM
It's unfortunate that mere accusations with zero evidence...one girls word against Bens that "his reputation" is tarnished. Have any of you been accused of something you haven't done? I know I have. I have had people lie about me before...and I'm not worth 100 million dollars.

Get some evidence then come back and talk to me.

Have you been accused of the same thing twice in a year or 2?
Like previously stated...

Tons of superstar athletes hook up all the time... they aren't getting accused of SA.

He really is a magnet for crazy chicks.

Shawn
03-08-2010, 03:45 PM
It's unfortunate that mere accusations with zero evidence...one girls word against Bens that "his reputation" is tarnished. Have any of you been accused of something you haven't done? I know I have. I have had people lie about me before...and I'm not worth 100 million dollars.

Get some evidence then come back and talk to me.

Have you been accused of the same thing twice in a year or 2?
Like previously stated...

Tons of superstar athletes hook up all the time... they aren't getting accused of SA.

He really is a magnet for crazy chicks.

No I can't say I have but I'm also not famous, with 100 million dollars and a sign on my back.

AngryAsian
03-08-2010, 04:09 PM
Ben is guilty... of extremely poor judgement. People are making remarks about tarnished reputations... he already has one, and now its getting real dirty. Regardless of whether there's truth behind both allegations.... in the court of Non-Black and Gold public opinion he's already a sexual deviant. Just playing devil's advocate... wonder if a suspension from Goodell is forth coming, seeming that there's two such accusations volleyed in 12 months.

One thing for sure, The Rooneys are pooping egg rolls. If they 86 Anthony "killswitch" Smith for being a loud mouth turd on/off the field.... I'm sure they have quite a hefty opinion about their 100 million dollar man.

cruzer8
03-08-2010, 04:37 PM
If he's innocent then I don't care about what other people think of him. And neither should anyone else.

hawaiiansteel
03-09-2010, 02:18 AM
Georgia authorities: Don't rush to judgment on Roethlisberger

By Carl Prine, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, March 9, 2010




MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. Cautioning people to avoid rushing to judgment, Georgia authorities said Monday they continue to investigate allegations that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sexually assaulted a 20-year-old female student.

In an exclusive interview with the Tribune-Review, however, Roethlisberger's newly hired attorney prominent Atlanta criminal defense lawyer Edward T.M. Garland rushed to insist that his client "is completely innocent of any crime."

"The truth of events will cause this investigation to end without a charge," said Garland, who has represented other high-profile athletes and celebrities accused of serious crimes, including the murder probe involving Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis in 2000.

Police and the district attorney, however, didn't go that far yesterday afternoon. And friends of the unidentified Zeta Tau Alpha sorority student say she has taken down her Facebook page and wants to drop out of school .

In a news conference before a growing phalanx of reporters drawn to the small city about 80 miles south of Atlanta, Milledgeville police Chief Woodrow Blue Jr., 53, said Roethlisberger and Garland are "cooperating with us in this investigation."

Asked specifically what Roethlisberger and his legal team were providing investigators beyond a Friday morning interview before the quarterback traveled to Pittsburgh Blue said authorities would meet with Garland and his client and about eight members of the player's entourage in "the next two to three days."

Roethlisberger, 28, owns a mansion on Lake Oconee, about 35 miles north of Milledgeville.

Steelers President Art Rooney II issued a statement expressing concern about the incident, but said: "We cannot comment on any of the specifics until law enforcement's investigation is concluded."

Blue said Roethlisberger did not give a DNA sample but that detectives would ask for it "at some point." His accuser was treated Friday morning at the Oconee Regional Medical Center at the request of officials.

Tom Davis, 51, said his Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents would begin to review video surveillance tapes from "various businesses" Roethlisberger, his entourage and the young woman from the town's Georgia College & State University visited during a pub crawl that began about 10 p.m. Thursday at the Velvet Elvis restaurant and ended about 2 a.m. Friday at the nearby Capital City dance club.

"We were at the Velvet Elvis, and we were looking at all the girls. I'm not a big football fan, so I didn't know at first that he was Ben Roethlisberger, but it was interesting to see all the other guys looking at him," said Matt Morrill, 21, a student at Georgia Military Academy.

"The girls went over to The Brick, and then he goes over to The Brick, and the guys followed and they ended up at the Capital City. That's how it started."

The young woman reported to police after 2:30 a.m. Friday that Roethlisberger sexually assaulted her in a dark area abutting the Capital City's VIP room that neither bar patrons nor security cameras could see.

Authorities have declined to be specific about the allegations, other than to say they are investigating a reported sexual assault. They said the woman has hired an attorney whom they did not identify.

Residents say Milledgeville doesn't need the attention.

"To us, he (Roethlisberger) comes off as a spoiled brat, not a nice guy," said Austin John Miller, 23, a waiter at the popular Mellow Mushroom restaurant in Lake Oconee.

"Now, this is the biggest thing to happen to Milledgeville since the Civil War. But it's not something we want to have happened here."

Others doubt Roethlisberger did anything wrong.

"I was with him at the Velvet Elvis and the Capital City," said James Ramsey, 20, a student at Georgia Military Academy. "They wouldn't let guys into the VIP room I guess we weren't cool enough but he was very cool to us, very down to earth, very polite. He wasn't drinking.

"He wasn't looking for any trouble, and everywhere he went, he had these big bodyguards with him. Everywhere."

Davis refused to speculate on the woman's credibility or to say whether she submitted to a blood-alcohol test. In Georgia, people as young as 18 can mix with drinkers in nightclubs, but laws bar them from being served.

Baldwin County District Attorney Frederic D. Bright released a statement saying that the investigation continues and that it "would be premature to make my decision at this time."

It's the second allegation of sexual assault involving Roethlisberger to surface in eight months. A Nevada resort worker claimed in a civil lawsuit the quarterback attacked her in Lake Tahoe.

Chadman
03-09-2010, 02:40 AM
If he's innocent then I don't care about what other people think of him. And neither should anyone else.

Innocent or not, he's guilty to many people now.

No matter the outcome- his reputation is tarnished.

It's character murder if this all gets thrown out as rubbish. Either you don't name Ben, or you throw out the name of the accuser along with the accused.

Don't leave Ben hanging out in the wind for all to take shots at.

hawaiiansteel
03-09-2010, 02:45 AM
If he's innocent then I don't care about what other people think of him. And neither should anyone else.

Innocent or not, he's guilty to many people now.

No matter the outcome- his reputation is tarnished.

It's character murder if this all gets thrown out as rubbish. Either you don't name Ben, or you throw out the name of the accuser along with the accused.

Don't leave Ben hanging out in the wind for all to take shots at.


in the world of public opinion, Ben is currently taking a beating.

but i continue to love him, i just think he's guilty of being young and naive still.

hawaiiansteel
03-10-2010, 04:06 AM
If he's innocent then I don't care about what other people think of him. And neither should anyone else.

Innocent or not, he's guilty to many people now.

No matter the outcome- his reputation is tarnished.

It's character murder if this all gets thrown out as rubbish. Either you don't name Ben, or you throw out the name of the accuser along with the accused.

Don't leave Ben hanging out in the wind for all to take shots at.


in the world of public opinion, Ben is currently taking a beating.

but i continue to love him, i just think he's guilty of being young and naive still.





this is what is what's going on in the world of public opinion -



Big Ben's barroom juries out

By Eric Heyl, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, March 10, 2010


A pitcher of beer and a copy of Goethe's "Faust" in front of him, Paul Houghton paused for a moment before weighing in on Ben Roethlisberger's troubles.

Houghton successfully resisted the temptation to suggest Big Ben made some Faustian deal in which he faces a sexual assault allegation for every Super Bowl he wins. But the thought had to have crossed his mind.

"Roethlisberger is a magnet for attention, and perhaps a magnet for people who wish to complain spuriously about him," said Houghton, 57, a Duquesne University English instructor. "I think people should reserve judgment until all the facts are in."

Easier said than done -- particularly with the Steelers quarterback facing his second accusation of sexual misconduct in the past eight months.

In the latest incident, a 20-year-old college student alleges Roethlisberger assaulted her last week in a Georgia bar. He also is accused in a civil lawsuit of assaulting a woman at a Lake Tahoe hotel in 2008.

Roethlisberger has not been charged with any crime in either episode, but that isn't necessary to be tried in the court of public opinion.

Court was in session Tuesday at a number of local watering holes -- including Jack's Rose bar, the proudly downscale tavern on the South Side's Carson Street.

Jurists sitting a few feet from Houghton watched an ESPN crawl on the TV above the bar promise a Big Ben update while "Born to Run" blared on the jukebox. They didn't need any additional details before voting to acquit Roethlisberger.

"This is some gold-digging 20-year-old girl trying to make some money off him," said Bob Hoskowicz, 55, of Mt. Washington. "Come on -- you really think Ben's going to grab some little girl in the back of a Hee-Haw bar?"

Bruce Wenzig, 49, of Crafton didn't believe so.

"No way," he said, shaking his head at the sheer absurdity of Hoskowicz's question. "He'd have to be an absolute idiot to do something like that."

Given the confidence Hoskowicz and Wenzig displayed in him, Roethlisberger apparently shouldn't be at all concerned about providing police with that DNA sample.

They weren't quite as convinced of Big Ben's innocence at Nadine's restaurant and bar on South 27th Street near the SouthSide Works. Said bartender Matt Voekler: "Maybe Ben ought to go to the same sex rehab place as Tiger Woods."

Voekler's co-worker, Kristy Meade, 34, of the South Side offered a succinct summation of the Super Bowl hero -- a 28-year-old multimillionaire looking for fun last week in a college bar populated by some people as much as a decade younger than him.

"You want to know what I think?" Meade said with obvious disgust. "I think he's a (expletive) idiot."

Regardless of the criminal investigation's outcome, Roethlisberger certainly has earned that characterization of his conduct.