Then he spoke directly to Roethlisberger.
"If he were my son, the best way I can answer that is, ‘Ben, grow up. Come on, you're supposed to stand for something. I mean, you're the leader. You should be a role model. You don't need to put yourself in this position anymore.' ...
"It is unclear, it is foggy, what exactly happened in that bathroom, but if I was there coaching him I'd say, ‘Ben, you don't need to do this. You don't need to put yourself in a position when you're alone in this dingy bathroom with you and this girl. That's foolish. Grow up. You need to be a role model. You need to be a role model for your team, your city, the NFL. You can do better.'
"And I hope he's learned something from this. I really do."
Bright, 54, has been the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit district attorney since 1994. The Emory and UGA School of Law grad has a reputation for straight talk, not for seeking publicity. He declined to comment throughout the sexual assault investigation before Monday's news conference.
"Fred is going to tell you the truth and he's going to be very straightforward about it," said Peter Skandalakis, district attorney for the neighboring Coweta Judicial Circuit.
"It does not surprise me that Fred evaluated the case, and decided it based upon the evidence. Nor does it surprise me Fred would make that comment to Mr. Roethlisberger."
While Bright made national headlines, that was not his goal, Skandalakis said.
"He doesn't look for the spotlight," Skandalakis said. "He's a career prosecutor who really abides by our professional codes of responsibility."