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Packers players frustrated about allegation link

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COLIN FLY | June 6, 2010 06:34 PM EST | AP


MILWAUKEE — Teammates staying in a condo with an unidentified Packers player who faces sexual assault allegations say Sunday they're frustrated that their names are linked to the incident.

The NFL is watching the case after Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger wound up suspended over a similar claim this offseason.

Authorities in Lake Delton said Sunday no additional information would be released involving the claims of two women against a player staying at a resort condo early Saturday morning. Six other players are cleared of criminal activity.

Authorities, the Packers and Packers teammates declined to name the player involved. Police Chief Tom Dorner said he'd turn over results of the investigation to the district attorney Monday or Tuesday to consider charges.

The agent of the player reported to be the center of the probe did not return repeated calls and messages left by the AP. Dorner said that there wasn't enough evidence or probable cause to make an arrest, but police took an unusual step of releasing the names of six other players who were cleared.

"I am upset that we didn't do anything and our names get thrown out there," backup quarterback Matt Flynn 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 other players cleared were linebackers Clay Matthews and Brad Jones, fullback Korey Hall, guard Josh Sitton and safety Khalil Jones. Several of those players participated in a celebrity softball game on Sunday, two days after Matthews hosted a charity golf event in Wisconsin Dells on Friday before being questioned early Saturday morning by police.

"There was one incident that kind of put a black eye on the whole thing. We are all trying to move forward and put it behind us," Matthews said. "All we were doing is being asked to talk about a specific incident and that's what we did. It's unfortunate and it aggravated us a bit, but you just have to put it behind you and move forward."

The Packers issued a one-sentence statement on Saturday saying that they are continuing to gather facts. Spokesman Jeff Blumb declined further comment Sunday.

"There is an active law enforcement investigation and we are monitoring developments," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an e-mail on Sunday. "As with any such incident, it will be reviewed under the league's Personal Conduct Policy."

That policy doesn't require charges to be filed for a suspension.

No charges were filed in Roethlisberger's case and he was suspended in April by the NFL for six games this season stemming from allegations by a college student.

A former Packers player who has faced sexual assault allegations chimed in on Sunday.

Tight end Mark Chmura spoke about the latest alleged incident on his weekly sports talk radio show in Milwaukee. He was acquitted in 2001 of assaulting a 17-year-old girl at a friend's home.

"We have to hold judgment from both sides of the fence right now until we get all the information," Chmura said. "I don't think this is going to drag on very long."

About 15 Packers players participated in Matthews' event in Wisconsin Dells and most went out that night together in the area that's known as a weekend getaway spot with its theme bars and waterparks. Seven of the players decided to stay at a large condo that night in nearby Lake Delton.

At about 4:20 a.m. on Saturday morning, police received a report that two Milwaukee women, ages 31 and 33, who'd met the players hours earlier at a bar had been sexually assaulted by more than one man.

Police said they arrived to find the players still at the condo and that all of them had been drinking alcohol. The women and the one player were in a room together, but authorities said it's not clear whether all three had been drinking.

Police cleared the six players and spoke with the two women further.

They then interviewed the seventh player a second time before releasing him. Authorities have said it's not clear why the initial report claimed more than one man was involved.

None of that may matter to the NFL.

"You never want to be portrayed poorly," Matthews said. "It is an unfortunate incident and kind of stresses as to who you are with and what you have and the type of scenarios that you can get yourself into. It really is a reality check. Unfortunately, that one individual has to deal with it and we'll see what happens."