Roethlisberger friend probe to take months

It will be “months as opposed to weeks” before the attorney

for a Pittsburgh suburb recommends whether a police officer should

be disciplined for being with Ben Roethlisberger the night he was

accused of sexual assault in Georgia.

Coraopolis solicitor Richard Start said Tuesday that he had

finished reviewing the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s 500-page

file on the quarterback’s night out in Milledgeville on March

5.

Start initially planned to recommend to Coraopolis council

whether Officer Anthony Barravecchio should be disciplined based

solely on that review. But Start told The Associated Press on

Tuesday that he was continuing to investigate and wouldn’t finish

until at least July.

“I spoke without having read the file. Once I read the file,

the time parameters I spoke of were not realistic,” Start

said.

Witnesses and Roethlisberger’s accuser say a man investigators

later identified as Barravecchio escorted the 20-year-old woman

down a hallway to a rest room where she says Roethlisberger forced

her to have sex. A Georgia prosecutor decided there was not enough

evidence to charge Roethlisberger.

Barravecchio’s attorney has denied his client did anything wrong

and specifically denies that Barravecchio led the accuser to the

rest room.

Start said he cannot comment on his continuing investigation,

including who he will speak to as part of it or why he determined

the need to extend his review.

Start said it will “take months as opposed to weeks” to finish

his investigation, and that the earliest he will make a

recommendation to borough council will be July. Barravecchio

remains on normal duty, he said.

The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the actions of

another police officer friend of Roethlisberger’s who was present

that night, Trooper Ed Joyner.

State police permitted Joyner to work as Roethlisberger’s

personal assistant, but the agency rescinded that permission

because of the Georgia accusations. Joyner has appealed through the

state troopers’ union.

Coraopolis has no similar rule requiring consent for outside

work. If it’s determined he subjected his department to disrepute,

the officer could face unspecified discipline for conduct

unbecoming an officer, Start said.

Start said he would be willing to speak to the state police

about their companion investigation, but wouldn’t say if he had

made such a request.

State police spokeswoman Lt. Myra Taylor did not immediately

return a message seeking comment Tuesday. She previously said the

Joyner investigation may not wrap up until August.

Barravecchio’s attorney, Michael Santicola, said he did not

believe that there had been any change in the situation.

“We are confident that the result will not change and they will

find no reason for disciplinary action,” he said.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation report says Barravecchio

told investigators he spent most of his time at the club seated on

a barstool by the door to the back hallway and didn’t see or hear

anything out of the ordinary.

At one point, Roethlisberger said, “Hey, show this girl where

the bathroom is,” and Barravecchio told investigators he opened

the door to the back hall and the woman followed him down the hall,

giggling, according to Georgia investigators. When Barravecchio

pointed to the bathroom she sat on a stool next to the bathroom

door where Barravecchio said he left her, according to the report.

He said that he didn’t see anyone else go back there.

Roethlisberger’s accuser told investigators she was on the stool

when the quarterback walked down the hallway, exposing himself,

before he allegedly took her into the restroom and assaulted

her.