by Russell Preston, Sports 1140 KHTK
With the 24th pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders took a gamble on what the league believes is one of the most talented cornerbacks in the class. The athleticism, football instinct and NFL potential play little part in the risk in taking Ohio State’s Gareon Conley, however.
A day or so before the draft, Conley was accused of raping a 23-year-old woman he spent time with in a hotel in Cleveland one night in April. The accuser told police he had forced himself on her that evening, but Conley quickly denied the accusations.
The 21-year-old cornerback was a star prospect on one of the most prominent football teams in the nation – he was even projected to be picked as high as No. 10 overall from several draft experts. Due to the uncertainty of the off-field issue, he fell on the Raiders lap at No. 24.
After Conley denied any allegations made against him prior to the draft, claiming them “untrue, wrongful and malicious,” his attorney, Kevin Spellacy, told Ian Rapoport of the NFL Netowrk that Conley is cooperating with the police and their investigation, but insists he is innocent of the accusations.
Spellacy later clarified there was a “sexual event” which occurred between Conley and the accuser, but it was consensual between both parties – conflicting the report given by the alleged victim. Despite the alleged sexual act, Spellacy reiterated the event was not intercourse and it was consensual.
The lone inconsistency in the story is that there were apparently two other people in the hotel room that witnessed the events that unfolded that night – two men who gave a statement to police. Both said nothing at all happened between the accuser and Conley, which is not the defense Spellacy gave to the press on Monday.
Like Spellacy said in the tweet above, the legal situation is roughly 6-8 weeks away from being resolved. In the meantime, all the Raiders can do is wait.