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
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
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
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personal assistant, but the agency rescinded that permission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