Gareon Conley Rape Accusation: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Gareon Conley. (Getty)

A former Ohio State cornerback projected to be a first round pick in the upcoming NFL draft has been accused of raping a woman at a hotel in Cleveland earlier this month.

Gareon Conley, 22, has not been charged in the case, but a 23-year-old woman filed a report with Cleveland Police claiming she was sexually assaulted by Conley at the Westin Hotel on April 9, according to a police report obtained by Heavy.

Police released the report Tuesday on the April 9 incident after Cleveland news station WOIO-TV reported Monday a top NFL prospect was under investigation for sexual assault, but the police department was not releasing documents related to the case.

“At this time, no warrant has been issued and no formal charges have been filed,” Cleveland Police Sergeant Jennifer Ciaccia said in a statement to Heavy. “This remains an open investigation within the Cleveland Division of Police Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit. No further information is available at this time.”

Conley’s attorney denied the accusation.

“There was no sexual assault,” attorney Kevin Spellacy told Cleveland.com. “We’ve cooperated fully with the police. I actually reached out to them before they even asked us.”

The news that a top NFL prospect was under investigation for sexual assault spread Tuesday morning after the WOIO report, which questioned whether Cleveland Police were declining to release details about the case because it involved a talented football player. Rumors spread about the identity of the player.

“The idea that he’s getting preferential treatment is ridiculous,” Spellacy told Cleveland.com. “This is being handled no differently than any other case.”

Here’s what you need to know:


1. The Woman Says Conley Ignored Her Cry of ‘No, Stop, It Hurts’ While Raping Her in a Hotel Bathroom

gareon conley rape

(Getty)

The 23-year-old woman accusing Gareon Conley of rape says the sexual assault happened in a bathroom at the Westin Hotel in downtown Cleveland on April 9, according to a police report obtained by Heavy.

You can read the full report below:

The woman said she met Conley in the hotel elevator after walking back to the hotel with friends about 2:45 a.m., according to the report. The woman told police she decided not to go back with her friends, but instead went with Conley to his room.

According to the report, a woman and a man were in Conley’s room when they got there. The accuser told police Conley asked her if she wanted to have a foursome with the woman and his friend, according to the report. She told police she did not want to have a foursome. She said she told Conley she “wanted to watch the couple in the bathroom.” The accuser told police she “only said this to Conley to try and avoid having sex with Conley all together.”

The woman said Conley was behind her and reached into his sock go grab something. Police redacted what the woman said Conley grabbed from the report released to Heavy. The woman said Conley spun her around, unbuttoned her pants, spun her back around and “pulled her pants down.” She told police “Conley bent (her) over in the bathroom and began to have (redacted by police). During the sexual act, (she) was saying ‘no stop, it hurts!”

The accuser told police, “after a few minutes Conley was done and kicked (her) out of the room.”

The woman contacted police and said her assailant was a black male who “wouldn’t take his sunglasses off” and had an “Ohio State tattoo on his left forearm.”

(Cleveland Police)

The accuser went to the hospital and a rape kit was administered. But police said in the report she refused to speak to police after going to the hospital.

“I attempted to interview (the accuser) at the hospital, with negative results,” the officer said in his report. “(She) just kept saying she wanted to go home and that her dignity was stripped from her in a matter of minutes. (She) did not talk to me after that.”

Conley was not at the hotel when police arrived, according to the report. The room was in his name. Two of his friends were interviewed by police and said he did not sexually assault the woman. They told police the woman was mad because she was kicked out of the room.

Police said the investigation by the Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit is ongoing.


2. Conley’s Attorney Says the Allegation Is ‘Ludicrous’ & Called the Accuser ‘an Opportunist’ Making a ‘Despicable’ Claim

gareon conley sexual assault

Gareon Conley at the NFL Combine. (Getty)

Conley’s attorney, Kevin Spellacy, denied the accusations in an interview with WOIO-TV. He said they are “ludicrous and ridiculous.”

Spellacy told the news station, “In my opinion this young lady is an opportunist and it’s actually despicable.”

He said Conley was never alone with the accuser and he said he has three witnesses who can testify his client did nothing wrong.

Conley has not spoken publicly about the accusation, but did appear to be referencing it in a tweet to fellow Ohio State defensive back and draft prospect Marshon Lattimore on Tuesday. Lattimore tweeted at Conley, “We good over here though bro … we know the deal!” Conley replied, “Lord knows!”

(Twitter)

Lattimore previously tweeted, “So the first thing you say to a girl that you meet in the elevator is let’s have a foursome? Lol that doesn’t even make sense … It’s crazy how these females are nowadays, they most definitely prey on you and try to ruin you.”

Spellacy said his client has not been interviewed by police, as he was not at the hotel when officers arrived on April 9, but he is willing to bring him to Cleveland for an interview. Spellacy said he has made arrangements for that interview to take place after the NFL Draft on Thursday.

According to the police report, two of Conley’s friends spoke to officers on the night of the incident. The woman who was in the room at the time did not give a statement to police. She is the girlfriend of one of Conley’s friends, according to the report.

One of the friends said he and his girlfriend hooked up and he kicked her out. He was asked by police about the “white girl” and he said he “didn’t touch her.” He said his best friend, Conley, was “with the white girl,” but “Conley never touched her and the white girl got mad because she got kicked out of the room.”

The other friend said he was also in the room and saw Conley in bed with the the accuser, “but nothing happened.”

Police said the room was in “normal shape” and “no evidence was found.”

On Wednesday, TMZ obtained video showing the accuser at the same bar as Conley, contradicting the police report, which claims they first met in the hotel elevator:

The surveillance video, recorded about 2:20 a.m., shows Conley leaving the Barley House with the accuser and her friends nearby. The video shows the accuser reaching out and appearing to touch Conley’s back. Outside the bar, the woman can be seen appearing to grab Conley’s arm.

The accuser’s attorney told TMZ he stands by his client’s claims that she was raped, and said the police report released to the public is “incomplete.”


3. Conley Is Projected to Be Picked in the Middle of the First Round of Thursday’s NFL Draft

Conley has risen up draft boards since he declared for the NFL Draft in January. According to draft experts, Conley is projected to be picked in the middle of the first round.

Mel Kiper Jr., of ESPN, projects he could be taken with the 14th pick by Philadelphia.

“Philadelphia needs a starter with its first pick, and Conley, a consistent two-year starter for the Buckeyes, could be that guy,” Kiper said.

Conley was originally projected as a second or third round pick, but his stock went up after workouts and the NFL Combine. Brett Fischer, a physical therapist for the Arizona Cardinals who helped train Conley, told ESPN Conley is a great athlete who is just as impressive as other top corners he has worked with, including Darrelle Revis, Eli Apple and Devin McCourty.

“He’s so cool and collected. He’s amazing. He’s a veteran. Ohio State prepared him for this process. He’s seasoned. You get a kid like this and you’re like, ‘Wow.’ I forget he’s a rookie. He’s taken anything — ‘Hey, this is what we want you to get better in’ — and he takes it to the next level. He gets it,” Fishcher told ESPN.

“I feel like I handle pressure well,” Conley told ESPN in article posted April 21. “I feel like that’s one of my assets that sets me apart from other people: my mental focus and mental ability to handle adversity.”

Conley’s agent released a statement from the Ohio State star on Wednesday:

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 judgement. 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 rape accusation could cause Conley to fall out of the first round, if it is not cleared up by Thursday. A team considering taking Conley in the first round told Pro Football Talk that they would not be able to take him if police had not cleared Conley by the start of the draft.

Conley will not be in attendance in Philadelphia for the draft ceremony on Thursday.

In 2015, LSU offensive lineman La’el Collins was linked to a double homicide in Baton Rouge just days before the draft, according to Sports Illustrated. Collins was never a suspect in the killing, but because his name was connected to the case, he dropped all the way out of the draft. He was later signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys, but lost millions.


4. He Was a Captain & Starting Cornerback for Ohio State This Past Season

(Getty)

Conley was a captain and starting cornerback for the Ohio State Buckeyes last season. It was his second year as a starter, according to the Buckeyes website.

He had four interceptions, tied for second on the team, broke up eight passed and had 26 tackles, earning Second-Team All-Big Ten honors.

Conley played in 15 games his freshman season on a team that won the national championship, contributing mostly on special teams. He became a starter his sophomore year, starting in 13 games and earning All-Big Ten honorable mention honors with 49 tackles and two interceptions, along with five pass break-ups and a blocked punt.

He graduated from Ohio State in December 2016 with a degree in sports industry, WOIO-TV reported.


5. Conley Is an Ohio Native & Was Ranked the Top Player in the State After His Senior Year at Washington High School in Massillon

Conley is a native of Massillon, Ohio, according to the Buckeyes website. He played football at Washington High School in his hometown and was rated the top player in the state by ESPN after his senior year.

He was an Associated Press Division 1 All-State sletion in high school was was ranked as the No. 43 prospect in the nation by ESPN, according to the Ohio State website. He was also ranked as the No. 14 cornerback prospect.

Conley played wide receiver and cornerback in high school, catching 50 passes and 16 touchdowns in his senior season, while recording 25 tackles, 13 pass break-ups and an interception on defense. He helped lead Washingto nan 11-2 record and the regional finals.

Conley also received offers from Michigan, Northwestern and Marshall, but signed with Ohio State in December 2012, according to ESPN.

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7 Comments

Anonymous

I don’t if it happened or not. But I do know players like this think they’re special ’cause mama’s been teling that their entre lives, along with everyone else. so they think they can do whatever they want to anyone. A bunch of players at Michigan State are finding out the hard way they aren’t special at all, and they aren’t worth anything off the field or the court. The days of blacks getting away with these things are over. And somebody better get it through their hard, thick skulls. Except for sports, these morons aren’t able to do anything. Don’t get drafted? It’s off to the welfare line with mama and gramma.

Anonymous

That’s what sex with a black man is. Rape. lol I thought everyone knew that. Next time carry a basketball with you and throw it at him if he attacks. He’ll want the ball more than you.

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