Just two days before the 2017 NFL Draft, news broke that former Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley has been accused of rape. Now he’s speaking out against those charges on the eve of what was supposed to be the biggest day of his young life.
Statement from Ohio State CB Gareon Conley. Calls accusation of rape "absolutely false". pic.twitter.com/CUq1ZCeMsI
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 26, 2017
This incident was first brought to public light by WOIO 19 News in Cleveland. The news station refused to name Conley because at that time it hadn’t been privy to the police report (more on that here).
However, as we’ve grown to expect in matters such as these, TMZ Sports quickly obtained a copy of that report and named Conley as the accused.
“Gareon Conley — a projected 1st round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft — has been named in a police report by a woman who claims he raped her in a Cleveland hotel but he adamantly DENIES the allegations,” the report read.
To this point, no official charges have been levied against said unnamed player. The player’s attorney, Kevin Spellacy, has called the charges, “ludicrous and ridiculous.”
“In my opinion this young lady is an opportunist and it’s actually despicable,” said Spellacy, per WOIO 19 News in Cleveland.
The alleged incident reportedly occurred at a hotel in Cleveland, where “a group left there to go to the Westin for a hotel room party.” Spellacy says Conley was never alone with the alleged victim and that three witnesses would be willing to say the player did nothing wrong.
Whether Conley is guilty or not, this incident absolutely will impact how teams think about him heading into the draft. He’s not set to meet with police until Monday, which is after the draft. Because of this, teams might not be willing to use a top pick on a player whose future is yet to be determined with such a dark cloud over his head.