Top NFL prospect Gareon Conley accused of rape on eve before draft

By JAMES WILKINSON FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

Ohio State quarterback 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 on 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.

Meanwhile, video obtained by TMZ suggests that his accuser’s claims may not fit the timeline of what actually happened.

Accused: Buckeyes player Gareon Conley has been accused of raping a woman in a hotel on April 9.   Ongoing: He denies the claims, but the investigation is ongoing

The victim claims that she met Conley in an elevator at around 2:45am on April 9, and that he then took her back to his hotel room and raped her.

However, TMZ says that it was given security camera footage showing Conley and the woman meeting in a bar, the Barley House, around a half-mile from the Westin.

Conley is seen leaving the bar at around 2:20 am – 25 minutes prior to the woman’s testimony, TMZ says – with the victim and her friends following.

She appears to tap Conley on the back; he then seems to look around and take her hand.

In a statement Conley said that the allegations are ‘completely false’ and ‘don’t fit my character’.

‘These allegations appear to be an attempt to ruin this once-in-a-lifetime experience for me and my family,’ he said.

He added: ‘I realize that I put myself in the situation and I could have used better judgment.’

Conley’s attorney, Kevin Spellacy, told Cleveland.com that the claims are ‘ridiculous and ludicrous.’

He says the woman who made them is ‘an opportunist’ and that Conley was with three other people that night and didn’t commit a crime.

The lawyer says that she became angry after Conley kicked her out of the bedroom.

He also told Cleveland.com that he made arrangements with police for Conley to be questioned after the draft.

The police report says the woman was taken to the hospital for an examination. Police spokeswoman Jennifer Ciacci says the woman was interviewed on scene and by detectives.

A man who was asleep in the room when police arrived told officers no assault occurred, saying he was in the room the entire time and saw Conley and the woman on the bed before she was kicked out, according to the police report.

Conley has played for the Ohio State Buckeyes for two years, and was captain of the team last year.

He was predicted as a possible top-ten pick for the Draft by experts on NFL.com.

Marshon Lattimore, a former Buckeyes teammate of Conley’s, told NJ.com that he didn’t believe the player was guilty.

‘It happens every year,’ Lattimore told NJ.com. ‘A story like that comes out. I just hate that it had to be him. It is what it is.

‘The truth is going to come out. We’re going to see what’s going to happen with that. I hope the truth comes out, that he’s innocent. But, we’re going to see.’

CONLEY’S STATEMENT IN FULL

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.

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