Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ben Roethlisberger: 'I was almost in tears' over the rape claim

Comment: Before you read the story below, consider this: when a tough, cocky, and nationally revered athlete admits he was almost in tears after being sued civilly for rape, is it any wonder what a false criminal charge of rape does to the average man or boy?

The average guy falsely accused of rape isn't sued civilly. No, his false accuser uses the police and the criminal justice system as her "muscle" to give effect to her lies. The average guy falsely accused of rape is handcuffed and taken away from his family against his will. He will be treated like a criminal the entire time he's in jail. He will be subjected to humiliating physical examinations. He will be sneered at and often jostled by the jail guards. Bail will be set at such a high level that he likely won't be able to get out before the trial, or before she recants. As he sits in his cell for months awaiting his fate, he will have hanging over his head the prospect of years in an even more inhumane prison. He knows that when he's in prison, if he fits the right demographic (and possibly even if he doesn't), he will, himself, become the victim of the very crime he was falsely accused of.

And, no, he will not receive the support a popular NFL quarterback receives. He likely will lose his job, his business, his apartment, possibly his home, his wife or girlfriend, and the support of his family and friends. He won't be able to pay his bills, and if he owes child support that he can't pay because he can't work, he will have the prospect of incarceration for that hanging over his head. If his name hits the newspapers, it will be difficult for him to ever get a decent job again because all that a prospective employer will need to do is "Google" his name to discover the nasty accusation. Even if the charge is determined to be false, most employers won't take the risk of hiring someone who "might" have raped someone.

This is not to minimize the agony Ben Roethlisberger is experiencing. It's only to give some perspective. If you think rape is necessarily more traumatic than a false rape charge, I invite you to spend a couple of weeks (that's how long it will take you) reading through this website. I promise you that you will never dismiss the problem of a false rape claim again.

And, oh, one more thing: once this is cleared up and her claim is dismissed, Mr. Roethlisberger, I do hope you will remember similarly situated men -- the guys who read this blog and many, many who haven't found us yet. Speak out for them, become their advocate. Because what happened to you isn't fair, and what's happening to countless other guys is even more unfair.

Ben Roethlisberger Breaks Silence On Civil Lawsuit

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) ― When a lawsuit alleging rape was first filed against him, Ben Roethlisberger called it "false and vicious," but said he wouldn't discuss the case or his private life in the media. Tuesday, he spoke about his private life and his reaction to being sued on national television.

"I was blown away - it shocked me. It hurt because people that know me and that I'm close with know that this is ridiculous," he said during an interview on ESPN's "E: 60." "I was just taken aback and didn't know what to think."

Roethlisberger talked about the moment the civil suit was presented to him this summer nearly a year after the alleged incident took place.

"I was actually signing a ball for a little kid, was having fun and had a stack of papers handed to me," he said during the interview.

Roethlisberger said that moment and his press conference five days later at the Steelers headquarters were two of the toughest experiences of his life.

"I was almost in tears because I got up there and I thought about my family, I thought about my teammates who are my family," he told ESPN.

"There was almost like the, 'This is really happening,' moment."

Roethlisberger has continued to fight the accusations, going so far as to file a countersuit against Andrea McNulty for defamation, extortion and abuse of process – even after she offered to settle out of court.

He says it's important for people to know he did nothing wrong.

"We want to clear my name because that's what hurt the most because my name, my family's name has been tarnished by this accusation that hurts a lot," Roethlisberger said on ESPN.

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