BREAKING NEWS: Ben Roethlisberger Fights Back Against Rape Charge: “The Truth Will Prevail”

Jul. 23 2009, Updated 6:24 a.m. ET

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Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger spoke out Thursday for the first time since being accused of raping a woman at a Lake Tahoe hotel-casino a year ago.

Roethlisberger --  reading  a prepared statement  at the Steelers practice complex in Pittsburgh – began by saying: “I did not sexually assault  Andrea McNulty.”

Roethlisberger called the allegations a “false and vicious attack.”  He also vowed “to fight to protect his family and his reputation.”

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He did not take any questions.

McNulty, 31, has filed a civil lawsuit against  the Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Law enforcement officials in Nevada have said that McNulty did not file a criminal complaint after the alleged incident, and they do not intend to open a criminal investigation into the matter.

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