In a statement released Wednesday, Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley said the rape accusation made against him earlier this month is “completely false” and that he “did not commit a crime.”
Conley, considered a top defensive prospect in this week’s NFL draft, is being investigated by Cleveland police after a woman accused him of raping her at a downtown Cleveland hotel on April 9.
Conley, 21, has not been charged or arrested in connection to the alleged incident, according to Cleveland Police Dept. spokeswoman Jennifer Ciaccia. No warrant has been issued and the department’s sex crimes and child abuse units are investigating, Ciaccia added.
Conley has not been interviewed yet by police. Investigators have reached out to him and are in the process of scheduling an interview with him, Ciaccia said. Projected as a first-round prospect, Conley will not attend the NFL draft, which begins Thursday.
Here is the full statement Conley released through his representation:
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.