CARSON CITY — The civil sexual assault case against Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be held in Reno, the Nevada Supreme Court said Thursday, rejecting an appeal by the NFL star.
A former VIP casino hostess at Harrah’s accused Roethlisberger of raping her in his penthouse suite in July 2008, when Roethlisberger was at Lake Tahoe for a celebrity golf tournament. The lawsuit also named Harrah’s employees and executives, whom she accuses of orchestrating a cover-up.
Roethlisberger has denied the allegations. The woman never filed a formal criminal complaint with police.
Lawyers for the two-time Super Bowl champion had wanted to move the case to Minden in Douglas County, where Harrah’s is located. They argued that Washoe County was an improper venue because, while one defendant owned a home there, no defendants lived there.
“We’re delighted with the court’s ruling and look forward to proceeding with the case in 2nd Judicial District Court,” the woman’s lawyer, Cal Dunlap, said.
David Cornwell, a Roethlisberger attorney, said the ruling “does not affect the likely outcome of this case.” He said that after considering the woman’s own words, “the jury will conclude that Ben has been falsely accused.”