We mentioned last night the reports regarding the contents of the motion to dismiss filed Wednesday on behalf of most of the Harrah’s employees who have been joined to the civil sexual assault lawsuit against Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The news accounts mentioned e-mail messages from the accuser that seemed to put several large nails into the coffin of the case.
We’ve now obtained the e-mails that were attached to the affidavit submitted by Harrah’s director of security Guy Hyder, and it sure looks to us as if the claims were grossly exaggerated at best, flat-out made up at worst.
The incident supposedly occurred on the evening of July 11, 2008. The accuser claims that Roethlisberger lured her to his room by asking her to fix his television.
We mentioned last night the following e-mail that could, based on its timing, be a smoking gun: “hail mary full of grace give me the strength not to go to his room and fix his television.”
Last night’s news reports, however, didn’t indicate when the e-mail was sent. Lawyer Calvin Dunlap apparently plans to hire a host of experts who’ll testify that inconsistent post-incident behavior from the accuser was nevertheless consistent with the actions of some rape victims who are trying to cope with the aftermath of the ordeal.
But anything that she might have said before the alleged incident can’t find refuge in that same rationale.
And the e-mail in question was sent on Friday, July 11. At 12:45 a.m.
Essentially, it was sent on what generally would be regarded as late Thursday night, a day before the alleged incident.
A day before the alleged incident.
So a jury is ultimately going to be asked to believe that Roethlisberger used a broken television as cover for getting the accuser into his room when, in reality, a day before the alleged deed she was musing about using a broken telvision as cover for getting into his room.
It’s a serious problem. The immediate challenge for the accuser and her lawyer is to find a path out of this maze that results in minimal financial cost and overall embarrassment.
Given the aggressive manner in which Roethlisberger has defended the case to date, we’re not so sure that there’s going to be an escape hatch.
That said, we continue to think that the wisest move would be for Ben to give them one, if it means getting this thing behind him before the regular season begins.