Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is in talks with Georgia police about a sexual assault allegation. This is hardly the first time that a professional athlete is accused of such a thing. People tend to line up according to their loyalties and ideologies whenever it happens. Fans of the athlete in question, those that believe that fake accusations of rape are commonplace, and often men more generally assume that until proven otherwise any sex that occurred was probably consensual and the woman is looking for cash or publicity. Women’s groups, rape victims, and often women more generally assume a degree of validity to the charges.

What’s interesting about Roethlisberger is that this is actually the second allegation against him. Part of me thinks that if you’re accused once, it’s possible that you just slept with the wrong person. If you’re accused twice? That represents a much greater likelihood of a control problem or a sense of sexual entitlement or, more simply put, a rapist. On the other hand, there’s a reason that the prosecution is prevented from bringing forth prior accusations and convictions to trial. It can create an unfair prejudice. Further, a woman that is aware of Roethlisberger’s first accusation knows that she will have a lot more credibility than if she goes and accuses Eli Manning. Back on the first hand, if you’re the type of person that sleeps with a professional athlete then makes accusations, you don’t really get to choose the athlete. If she’s that type of person, it is possible but strains credibility a bit that the pieces would fall into place for such a move.

Also noteworthy is that Roethlisberger has a reputation for control issues outside the bedroom. He is known for tempting fate by engaging in risky and possibly injury-inducing behavior. Besides the allegations and his performances as a QB, he’s known for a motorcycle incident wherein he wasn’t wearing a helmet and a bowling accident shortly before a playoff game.

None of this is to say that he’s necessarily a rapist (or sexual assaulter). But he’s going to have a hard time finding a jury that is unaware of at least the previous sexual harassment accusation. He’s only 28 and should have a long career ahead of him. At the rate he’s going, by misdeeds or misfortune, it’s at pretty substantial risk.

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Category: Newsroom

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3 Responses to Roethlisberger

  1. web says:

    Back on the first hand, if you’re the type of person that sleeps with a professional athlete then makes accusations, you don’t really get to choose the athlete.

    If someone is determined to go for athletes, finding out where they like to go in terms of area bars probably isn’t really all that hard.

    Part of me thinks that if you’re accused once, it’s possible that you just slept with the wrong person. If you’re accused twice? That represents a much greater likelihood of a control problem or a sense of sexual entitlement or, more simply put, a rapist.

    Or in other words, the possibility is plain that he’s an idiot who goes to bars, gets drunk out of his mind along with women who get drunk out of theirs, and gets himself into stupid situations?

    “Bad judgement” at best. As for the rest? I suspect it’ll boil down to a “he said, she said” bit followed by a settlement of some sort to try to make it go away.

  2. trumwill says:

    If someone is determined to go for athletes, finding out where they like to go in terms of area bars probably isn’t really all that hard.

    Right. But even if you put yourself out there for athletes, getting an athlete is one thing, but getting an athlete with Roethlisberger and his reputation is another. If you put yourself out there for athletes, you don’t get much of a choice of *which* athlete will make himself available to you. You sleep with the one you find. If this is a con, she got really, really lucky with her mark. Particularly since this didn’t happen in Roethlisberger’s home town, where he might be easier to track down.

  3. Maria the Lurker says:

    A bowling accident?

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