Former Buckeye Gareon Conley denies rape accusations, won’t attend NFL Draft

Gareon Conley (WCMH)

CLEVELAND (AP/WCMH) – Ohio State’s Gareon Conley was scheduled to be in Philadelphia Thursday night to celebrate one of the biggest moments in his life. Today, Conley says he will not attend the NFL draft after serious allegations were made against him.

Spokeswoman Kathleen Caffrey of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office says the alleged April 9 incident is still being investigated by police. No charges have been filed.

A Cleveland police report released Tuesday says the 23-year-old woman told officers that Conley sexually assaulted her in the bathroom of a hotel room.

Conley released a statement Wednesday refuting the allegations.

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.

Police spokeswoman Jennifer Ciaccia says investigators are making arrangements to interview Conley, one of the top defensive prospects in the upcoming NFL draft.

Conley’s attorney, Kevin Spellacy, told Cleveland.com that the accusations are “ridiculous and ludicrous.” He says the woman who made the claims is “an opportunist.” He did not immediately return messages left by The Associated Press.

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