Ohio State cornerback and top NFL pick Gareon Conley has been accused of rape by a 23-year-old woman one day before the NFL Draft.
The alleged victim said that Conley, 21, took her to a room in the Westin Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio on Sunday, April 9 and raped her in the bathroom.
Conley’s attorney denies the claim against the footballer and says that no charges have been filed in the case – but police say that it is still under investigation. Furthermore, video obtained by TMZ suggests that the claims made by Conley’s accuser may not fit the timeline of what actually happened.
The footage show Conley leaving the Barley House in Cleveland around 2:20 A.M. on April 9th … with the accuser and her female friends following closely behind. At one point the accuser reaches out and touches Gareon’s back.
A few minutes later, Conley has his arm around another woman in front of the bar and the accuser catches up from behind and grabs his arm. Gareon looks back and appears to hold her hand. The video is critical because it appears to contradict what the accuser told police — that she first met Conley in an elevator at the Westin hotel around 2:45 A.M. Both sides agree they ended up in a hotel room at the Westin together. She claims Conley raped her. Conley adamantly denies the allegation.
We reached out to the accuser’s attorney, who stands by his client’s claims that she was sexually assaulted … but says the police report that was released to the public is “incomplete.”
Conley, who has played for the Buckeyes since last year, was the captain of the team last year and is a projected first-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft.
Conley released a statement on the allegations:
The allegations against me concerning the night of April 8/9 that have recently been reported in multiple media outlets are completely false. I did not commit a crime and have not been charged with a crime. I pride myself on doing things the right way on and off the field. The things being said about me and what happened that night are not true and don’t fit my character at all.
I realize that I put myself in the situation and I could have used better judgment. However, I have worked tirelessly to put myself in position to have the honor of being an NFL draft pick and these untrue allegations are putting a huge cloud over my name and the NFL Draft. These allegations appear to be an attempt to ruin this once-in-a-lifetime experience for me and my family. There were several witnesses, including another female, who were present the entire time and have given statements that give an accurate account of what took place.
We also have video evidence that further discredit and disprove other versions of these events. I am upset but realize that I am powerless when false accusations are made and people try to convict you in the court of public opinion. It’s sad that your name can get dragged through the mud based upon untrue and malicious allegations alone. I am completely confident that as the facts actually come out my name will be cleared.
I was excited about participating in Thursday’s draft but I have decided that it would be selfish for me to stay and be a distraction to the NFL, the other players and their families who have worked just as hard as me to enjoy the experience, so I will not be in attendance. I hope and look forward to the honor of being an NFL player and working to be the best representative, player, person and teammate that I can be for the team and the community I will be in.
The NFL draft kicks off tonight, Thursday, April 27, at 8:00 P.M. EST in Philadelphia.