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Police chief says women's changing statements hamper assault case

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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Police don't plan to recommend pressing charges against a Green Bay Packers player accused of sexual assault by two women who changed their statements, the chief overseeing the investigation said Monday.

Lake Delton Police Chief Tom Dorner said he expects to forward the investigation's findings to prosecutors by Tuesday, but he believes they would have a hard time proving a case.

"I think it's going to be a problem because there's too much information that contradicts between the alleged victims and the alleged suspect," Dorner said.

Officers were called early Saturday to a condominium in Lake Delton where seven Packers players were staying during a charity golf event. The women initially told investigators they were sexually assaulted by more than one Packer while other players held them down.

After the players were questioned, the women changed their statements to say only one person assaulted them, Dorner said Monday.

"It's obviously troubling they would make that statement originally and shortly into the investigation change it, a pretty important piece of information," Dorner said. "... It is weird."

Police cleared six of the seven players of wrongdoing. A seventh player whom police declined to identify and who hasn't been arrested remains under investigation.

Packers officials and teammates also refused to name the player involved, but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, citing three sources familiar with the case, reported that it is second-year cornerback Brandon Underwood.

The six players who were cleared were quarterback Matt Flynn, linebackers Clay Matthews and Brad Jones, fullback Korey Hall, guard Josh Sitton and safety Khalil Jones.

Police also declined to identify the women, saying only that both are from Milwaukee. One is 31 years old, the other 33.

Sauk County District Attorney Patricia Barrett didn't immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment.

The women were examined at different hospitals by nurses trained in gathering sexual assault evidence, Dorner said. He said he didn't know the results. No weapons or restraints were used in the alleged assault, and investigators found no evidence of any drugs, including date rape drugs.

Police said all the Packers were drinking alcohol, but it wasn't clear if the women had been drinking.

"I suspect most everybody was probably consuming alcohol to some degree," Dorner said. "To what degree, I don't think there was anyone who was passed out or totally inebriated."

The women met several players at a Wisconsin Dells strip club, Dorner said. He said the women were patrons, not club employees. They drove back to the players' condo while at least some players took a shuttle bus from the club to the resort.

The women left the condo after the alleged assaults and contacted police from a nearby residence, Dorner said.

The NFL and the Packers are closely watching the case, which follows an offseason sexual-assault investigation involving one of the league's stars, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

"There is an active law enforcement investigation, and we are monitoring developments," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said of the Packers case in an e-mail Sunday. "As with any such incident, it will be reviewed under the league's personal-conduct policy."

Prosecutors didn't charge Roethlisberger in his case, but the league suspended him for six games on April 21 for violating its personal-conduct policy.

Matthews, who participated in a charity softball game Sunday along with several other players, expressed frustration about being linked to the investigation.

"All we were doing is being asked to talk about a specific incident, and that's what we did," Matthews said. "It's unfortunate and it aggravated us a bit, but you just have to put it behind you and move forward."

Flynn also wasn't happy about publicly named in the matter.

"I am upset that we didn't do anything and our names get thrown out there," the backup quarterback told reporters in Appleton on Sunday. "We went and answered as many questions as possible and tried to get it rectified as quickly as possible. There is nothing that I or we did that I am embarrassed about."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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