Today, thanks to the lawyer of the nightclub where Ben Roethlisberger allegedly sexually assaulted a woman, there was a lot of new information presented to the public discrediting the accuser in the case. Information that, if you examine the context of its release, looks increasingly dubious.
Carl Casino, the attorney for Georgia nightclub owner Rocky Duncan, recently told the PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW that the nightclub’s security video from the evening in question has been erased and is irretrievable.
Cansino said he wished the nightclub could provide security video recordings, but the system it uses recorded over the footage, and agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation were unable to retrieve any evidence from recordings. No cameras were trained on the staff restroom near a dingy storage corridor where the assault allegedly occurred, he said.
“The DVD system overwrote itself,” Cansino said. “Had it just been deleted, they might have been able to save some of it.”
That claim though was called in to serious question by TMZ.com, which reported today that club owner Duncan previously told the website “repeatedly” that he had secured the tape’s contents and went so far as to describe what was seen on it.
TMZ has since added this to its post about the matter:
UPDATE: The lawyer for the club tells TMZ cops watched the video with Rocky “shortly” after the alleged incident — but cops did not take the video with them at that time.
The lawyer tells us cops returned to collect the tape — and that’s when they noticed the footage had been erased.
So from what the “cops” saw on the tape, we know they wanted it because they came back to get it. But when they returned, PRESTO GONZO!
Cansino told the Tribune-Review in the same interview that nightclub owner Duncan had saved “copies” of a “weeks-old” fake ID allegedly used by the accuser to enter the nightclub.
Cansino shared with investigators copies of the driver’s license Capital City’s bouncers seized from Roethlisberger’s accuser weeks before she was seen with him. The date on the license was scratched and reworked to indicate she was born in June 1987 — two years before her actual birth.
So nightclub owner Duncan saves a weeks-old fake ID of the accuser but not the surveillance tape of the incident? A videotape that obviously could be critical to the sexual assault claim of a 20-year-old woman who was reportedly drunk in Duncan’s establishment?
If you’re in nightclub owner Duncan’s shoes right now, what matters most to you in this case? Proving that your employees didn’t knowingly serve a 20-year-old woman - who claims she was sexually assaulted in your club - alcohol.
Cansino to the Tribune-Review:
“We believe that she obtained the alcohol from patrons, not from employees,” said Cansino, who said bouncers removed one member of the woman’s group from the VIP room that evening.
Is it unreasonable to think that a videotape that nightclub owner Duncan previously claimed to TMZ to have secured was deliberately erased to eliminate any evidence that could be used by local officials to injure Duncan’s business? Read more…