One day before the NFL Draft, Ohio State quarterback Gareon Conley, 21, may say his pro football career ended before it even started. Conley has been accused of taking a woman to his room at a Westin Hotel in Cleveland and raping her in the bathroom.
According to the victim, she met Conley in an elevator at around 2:45 a.m. on April 9, and that he then took her back to his hotel room and raped her. But security camera footage taken at a nearby bar differs from the woman’s account. In the video from the bar named Barley House, Conley is seen meeting the woman earlier, leaving the bar and holding her hand. In addition, another man in Conley’s room was sleeping on the floor and stated he saw the pair enter the room and get on the bed and there was no confrontation or aggressive behavior. The witness stated that later Conley told the woman to leave the room and she became irate. She later called the police and claimed that she was raped by Conley and was examined at a local hospital and questioned by detectives. Police have not pressed charges against Conley as an investigation is underway to determine all the facts. Conley is considered a top 10 draft pick and issued the following statement to the media:
“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.”