Shortly afterwards, the Atlanta Falcons issued a statement, saying: “Our organization became aware of the allegations involving Barkevious Mingo today and are currently gathering information on this incident. The Falcons take the allegations very seriously and will continue to monitor the situation.”
Then, just after midnight on Sunday, the Falcons issued another terse statement, one that read: “After being made aware [yesterday] of allegations involving Barkevious Mingo and gathering information on the matter, the Atlanta Falcons have terminated his contract.”
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Sports Illustrated Article Details the Allegation Against Mingo
In the time between the Falcons’ initial statement and the team’s statement announcing the linebacker’s release, Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated (SI) published an article that details the child sex offense allegation against Mingo.
Per Wertheim, the charge stems from an alleged incident that took place over the July 4th weekend in 2019, and a complaint was brought by the alleged victim’s mother in January of this year, after which the Arlington Police Department Crimes Against Children Unit began its investigation.
“Mingo invited a teenage family member and the boy’s friend, also a teenager, to spend the day with him,” relates Wertheim, indicating that the trio went to Six Flags Over Texas amusement park and K1 Speed, a Dallas-area go-kart complex, among other places.
“Mingo also treated the boys to a shopping spree, paying for items they chose from Nike.com,” adds SI. “The relative’s friend chose a variety of T-shirts, shoes and shorts. The gear was shipped to the boy at the address of his friend, Mingo’s family member.”
That night the boys returned to the hotel where Mingo was staying, and according to the documents provided to SI, the victim woke up in the middle of the night “and noticed Mingo in bed with him.” The above-linked SI article goes on to describe the sexual contact that allegedly occurred and notes that Arlington police obtained a search warrant to obtain Nike’s sales records pertaining to three orders from July 4, 2019.
According to SI, in the application for the search warrant the Arlington police detective who is investigating the case says: The “evidence will corroborate the victim’s statements. Furthermore, it is known to [the detective] … that purchasing gifts for children is a known ‘grooming’ behavior in Child Sexual Abuse cases.”
Wertheim goes to note that Mingo has been released from police custody after posting $25,000 bond. He also relays a statement provided by Mingo’s attorney, Lukas Garcia, which came to him via the player’s agent.
“The allegations out of Tarrant County against my client are completely baseless. Barkevious Mingo is innocent. At this stage, our side has very limited information. What we do know is these allegations are from over two years ago and are completely untrue. Mr. Mingo is the victim of a false claim, and we believe this is motivated by money or some other ulterior motive. We are confident when the truth comes to light, my client will be fully exonerated.”
Barkevious Mingo’s Falcons Contract
Mingo was selected in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns (No. 6 overall). He has appeared in 126 games (with 40 starts) over the course of his eight seasons in the league, and played for the Chicago Bears last season.
In March, the Falcons signed Mingo to a one-year contract. Per overthecap.com, the deal provided for a base salary of $1,075,000, with $925,000 of that amount guaranteed. The deal also included a $175,000 signing bonus.
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