Lawyer may seek list of women from Roethlisberger
CARSON CITY – The lawyer for a woman who is accusing Ben Roethlisberger of rape is prepared to ask a Nevada court to compel the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback to name all the women he has had sex with, court documents show.
Reno lawyer Cal Dunlap also said that if Roethlisberger’s request to waive court rules and speed up the evidence-gathering process is granted, he also should be given immediate access to the quarterback’s phone records, Internet communications, and names of any women who have claimed improper sexual conduct by the two-time Super Bowl winner.
The possible demands were included in a lengthy motion filed late Tuesday in Washoe District Court in Reno, in which Dunlap argues against motions by Roethlisberger’s lawyer to dismiss the woman’s case.
The motion also says that if a physical or psychiatric examination of his client is allowed by the court, “a reciprocal examination of her assailant in both categories should also be mandated.”
The woman, a VIP casino hostess, filed the civil suit against Roethlisberger in July, claiming the quarterback raped her in 2008 in a penthouse at a Lake Tahoe hotel-casino across the street from a golf course where he was playing in a celebrity tournament. The AP, as a matter of policy, does not identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted.
The suit also names eight executives or employees of Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, alleging they orchestrated a cover-up of the incident.
Roethlisberger has denied the allegations, and has claimed in court documents that his accuser is mentally unstable and motivated by money. His lawyers previously said the case could be settled if the woman wrote Roethlisberger an apology and dropped her suit.
That offer was rejected by Dunlap, who last week said his client would settle if Roethlisberger admits to raping her, apologizes, and gives $100,000 to a nonprofit agency that helps domestic violence victims.
On Thursday, Roethlisberger attorney David Cornwell distributed a “remedy request,” signed by the woman on July 6, 2009, before the suit was filed, in which she sought damages of $1.5 million for emotional distress, $1 million for damage to her reputation, and at least $374,000 in medical costs.
The woman did not report the incident to police, something advocates for rape victims say is not unusual. She claims she suffered emotional and medical problems afterward, and has received treatment, including hospitalization, in the aftermath.
But opposing lawyers counter that the woman bragged about having sex with Roethlisberger and fantasized about him.
In a previous motion, a lawyer for several Harrah’s employees included pages of e-mails, reportedly from the woman. In one, she spoofs her own resignation announcement, saying, “She is with Big Bens child and … she has relocated to Pittsburgh.”
Cornwell and Dunlap have traded allegations of extortion and threats to seek sanctions against each other. The barbs continued Thursday.
In his statement, Cornwell said Roethlisberger was willing to give the woman “a limited benefit of the doubt,” given her “unstable mental state and the possibility that she is being manipulated by an unscrupulous lawyer.”
“Her lawyer, however, does not deserve and will not receive similar consideration,” Cornwell said.
Dunlap, who has routinely refused to comment on the case, could not immediately be reached Thursday.
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