Thursday, April 15, 2010

Two statements of Roethlisberger accuser released: First statement: 'I don't know if this is a good idea'; Later statement: 'No, this is not ok'

The woman who claimed Ben Roethlisberger raped her gave two statements to police -- one shortly after the alleged incident, a second several hours later.  Here they are. I am interested in readers' reactions.

The following are excerpts, but make sure you read the full statements for yourself: In the first statement, the woman claims she told Roethlisberger the following: "'I don't know if this is a good idea,' and he said 'it's OK', he had sex with me."

In the later statement, she describes a more elaborate scenario, with critical details not noted in the first statement: "Ben came back with his penis out of his pants. I told him it wasn't ok, no, we don't need to do this and I proceeded to get up and try to leave. I went to the first door I saw, which happened to be a bathroom. He followed me into the bathroom and shut the door behind him.  I still said no, this is not OK, and he then had sex with me. He said it was OK. He then left without saying anything."

In the first statement, at best, her words manifested conflict about whether she should be having sex with Roethlisberger -- not whether she consented. (How many of us have ever said, "I shouldn't be doing this," as we plow ahead anyway?)  She admits that earlier he had called her a "tease," a characterization she does not deny.  Moreover, she says, Mr. Roethlisberger assured her it was OK, and there is no indication as to her reaction.  She says he "had sex" with her -- not that he raped her.

In the second note, several hours later, when the events weren't as fresh in her head, and after she had ample opportunity to confer at length with her sorority sisters and to massage her narrative, her statement now reads much more like rape.  Her "I don't know if this is a good idea" became "no, this is not OK."

Which statement was more reliable?  Which was more credible? On its face, the first statement -- made soon after the incident -- was not rape.  The second statement is a material alteration of the first statement, and that is troubling.  Her words immediately prior to the sex act are markedly different in the two statements. 

While we don't know for certain, the second statement reasonably suggests a woman attempting to manufacture a narrative that included the elements of rape, as she knew them, to insure her "victimhood" would not be questioned.