(CN) – Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger cannot change the venue of a civil sexual assault case against him and eight others in Nevada, the state Supreme Court ruled.
A former casino hostess at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Andrea McNulty claimed Roethlisberger lured her into his hotel room in 2008 under the false pretense of fixing his television. When she discovered that the TV was working fine, he allegedly groped and penetrated her against her will.
McNulty filed suit in Washoe County, Nev., against the two-time Super Bowl champion and eight Harrah’s co-workers who she accused of covering up the alleged attack.
Roethlisberger moved for a change of venue to Douglas County, where the hotel is located and where co-defendant Dave Morris owns a home. Morris, who was McNulty’s boss at Harrah’s and also owns a home in Washoe, also moved to change venue. The remaining co-defendants either joined Roethlisberger’s motion or filed their own. Only Monroe and Roethlisberger appealed when the trial court denied their motions, but Morris ultimately decided to voluntarily dropped his fight.
The Nevada Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Roethlisberger lacked standing as a Pennsylvania resident to challenge the venue.
Under state law, a plaintiff alleging tort claims can sue in the Nevada county of her choosing if no defendants live in the state. Roethlisberger based his motion of the residence of another defendant. “That, he cannot do,” Justice Mark Gibbons wrote for the court.
The justices also denied the quarterback’s attempt to move venue for the sake of convenience.
“The record contains no evidence demonstrating that the convenience of the witnesses compels a change in venue or that holding the trial in Douglas County rather than Washoe County would promote the interests of justice,” Gibbons wrote.