Thursday, April 29, 2010

More On the Compromised Roethlisberger Investigation

[Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault]

Earlier this week, I wrote about Timothy Egan's editorial on Superstar athlete Ben Roethlisberger's most recent charge of sexual assault. In the comments, a reader noted one of Egan's quotes:

"Prosecutors said they would not file charges against the quarterback — in part because of sloppy police work by officers who fawned over the athlete —"

I wanted more details as to how this alleged fawning might have compromised the investigation and case against Roethlisberger. Well, Deeky at shakesville, who has been monitoring this case since the beginning, has provided a link outlining more details about the problematic start to the investigation:

"According to witnesses aligned with both the accuser and accused, Milledgeville police Sgt. Jerry Blash demonstrated little patience with the alleged victim....Roethlisberger, meanwhile, was barely pressed by Blash, the night commander, who had his picture taken with the two-time Super Bowl champ earlier that evening.

After hearing the young woman’s story, Blash quickly notified Roethlisberger and his group of her allegation. The sergeant, who has since resigned amid an internal investigation into his behavior, approached two of the quarterback’s associates, Pennsylvania lawmen Anthony Barravecchio and Edward Joyner, and told them what had transpired....

Barravecchio, a Coraopolis, Pa., officer assigned to a federal Drug Enforcement Administration task force, said Blash told them: 'We have a problem, this drunken [expletive], drunk off her ass, is accusing Ben of rape.'"...

According to Biancofiore, the sergeant told them he would file a report but warned them they were wasting their time. Lubatti told the GBI that Blash advised, 'You can file a statement but this man has a lot of money and good attorneys.'"

Throughout this account, multiple sources report that the alleged victim was intoxicated and changed her story multiple times. I don't think that necessarily makes her allegations untrue, especially given that later the same evening she presented in an emergency room with physical trauma consistent with sexual assault.

What is troubling about this case is the narrative.

In Roethlisberger's previous case, a security guard told the alleged victim that "most girls would feel lucky to get to have sex with someone like Ben Roethlisberger," thus protecting male sexual access to women by creating the narrative that Superstar Men Are Incapable Of Rape Because All Women Want To Fuck Superstar Athletes.

In this latest case, the narrative tells us that women who are intoxicated are unrape-able. That is not to say that men do not rape intoxicated women. Just that, if they do, there's a good chance they can and will get away with it. Guess "Not Drinking" is just one more thing women can add to our list of ways to limit our lives so as not to be raped by men and/or deemed to be trustworthy.

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