Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberg has hired the same Georgia attorney who represented Ray Lewis during a murder case and rapper T.I. after a federal weapons charge.
Roethlisberger has yet to be charged but is facing allegations of sexual assault after an appearance at a Georgia nightclub last week and has hired Ed Garland.
A 20-year old college student is alleging that Roethlisberger sexually assaulted her at a club in central Georgia last week.
There has been little public comment about the case since the allegations were made last week, but this is becoming a sticky issue. Given the state of the news cycle and the fact that Roethlisberger has been charged with a similar crime before, he’s likely already guilty in the court of public opinion.
And his hiring of a high-profile attorney will do little to change that perception.
But there’s just as much chance that Roethlisberger has never committed such a crime. It’s too easy in the current climate to accuse someone of such an act without any evidence, because once the media latches on the accused has no chance. And Roethlisberger may be hiring the attorney simply because he feels he needs the best protection in this instance.
It’s a messy situation, regardless. And given the seriousness of the allegations, it can only get messier.
I’m sure more details will surface in the coming weeks, but one has to assume Roethlisberger’s hiring of Garland is only the beginning of another media circus he and the Pittsburgh Steelers could do without.