BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WROC) — Former Buffalo Bills linebacker Cornelius Bennett is accused of sexually assaulting a teen at a Brighton bar in the early 90s, according to a lawsuit filed this week.
In the lawsuit, filed under the Child Victims Act on Tuesday, a woman claims the 56-year-old former football player attacked her at the Otter Lodge in the summer of 1992.
The woman claims in the lawsuit that she was 17 years old at the time and selling flowers at the bar when Bennett, along with some Bills players and cheerleaders, visiting the Monroe Avenue establishment.
The woman alleges Bennett harassed her at the bar, and made sexual comments to her. The lawsuit says followed her to the basement, pushed her into a phone booth, undressed her, and sexually attacked her, grabbing her breasts and buttocks while she told him to stop. The lawsuit also says Bennett inserted his finger into the woman’s vagina and then forced her to smell the same finger.
The lawsuit states the encounter lasted approximately five minutes and only ended when Bennett heard someone coming down the basement stairs.
According to the lawsuit, the woman suffered permanent trauma and emotional damage, and has struggled throughout her adult life because “of the torment she was forced to endure.” According tot he lawsuit the woman is seeking compensatory and punitive damages against all of the aforementioned defendants.
The NFL and the Buffalo Bills are also named as defendants in the lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, the Bills were hosting an event at the bar on the night of the attack. The NFL and Buffalo Bills both “turned a blind eye” to acknowledging Bennett’s actions, according to the lawsuit.
Bennet previously pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of sexual abuse in 1997 and was sentenced to 60 days in jail.
Bennett, an Alabama native who now resides in Florida, played for the Bills from 1987-1995 where he was elected to the Pro Bowl five times. He also played for the Atlanta Falcons and Indianapolis Colts.