Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Video of police interview with Roethlisberger accused released

Ben Roethlisberger was not charged with rape for the now-infamous incident that occurred in Georgia last March because of discrepancies in the alleged victim's accounts about their interaction.  Now, police videotapes of interviews with witnesses have been released. 

The two videos of the interview with the accuser are here.  The accuser's identity is shielded.

We've previously reviewed the three statements made by the accuser to police. The first was an oral statement; the next two were written by the accuser.  We explained that the accuser's explanation about what occurred can aptly be described as a moving target. She lacked credibility because her three statements to police within several hours of the "incident" suggested the evolving narrative of a woman groping for victimhood. Trace the progression of the three statements:  The accuser's (1) "No" in response to a question about whether she was raped, and her "I'm not sure" if she and Roethlisberger even had sex, were later transformed into (2) the accuser claiming she told Ben "I don't know if this is a good idea" before they had sex, which was later transformed into (3) the accuser claiming she told Ben "no, this is not OK" before they had sex.

In the video interview, apparently conducted after the other three statements, she goes even further and flatly says she did "not agree" to sex with Roethlisberger.  She claims that Roethlisberger had his penis exposed and was ready for action at the time he pursued her into a darkened bathroom, and that she said: "No. This is not right. I do not agree to this."  (The "I do not agree to this" is in a different universe than "I'm not sure" if they even had sex and "I don't know if this is a good idea.")  In the bathroom, she claims they did have sex (and that is markedly different than her earlier statement where she said she wasn't sure if they had sex), and that he actually penetrated her (something a woman would likely know when it happened -- but she didn't in her initial statement).  But even here in the video interview, she couldn't remember what position they were in (of all the details, I suspect that's the one that would be most memorable).  She also claims she told him all the while: "No. We really shouldn't be doing this."  And: "We really don't need to do this." And: "This really isn't OK."  And he kept insisting it was OK, "I promise."

It is fair to say that the accuser's memory would have been best in the time right after the alleged incident. Here, immediately after the incident, she gave no indication that she was raped. But with the passage of time, the accuser's statements sounded more and more like rape. To see the evolution a rape claim from total uncertainty to total certainty -- from "I'm not sure" if we even had sex to I told him "I do not agree" to have sex, but they had it anyway -- is a very frightening lesson for innocent men.  A cautionary tale to be ever vigilant that women like this are out there.