Former Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley will not face sexual assault charges for an alleged incident that occurred days before the 2017 NFL Draft. On Monday, a grand jury completed its investigation and decided against an indictment, according to FOX 8’s Ed Gallek.
Conley was accused of sexual assault following a situation at a Cleveland hotel. Conley claimed he was never alone with the accuser and said, via his attorney, Kevin Spellacy, that a “consensual sexual event” had taken place. Conley’s attorney said that this “event” was not intercourse.
One witness claimed that the accuser and Conley were lying on a bed together, but that no other contact took place. Another said that Conley’s accuser was angry that Conley had kicked her out of the hotel room.
On the Monday before the draft, Conley spoke with Cleveland police and submitted DNA for testing. He also released a statement about the allegations.
"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," Conley said. "It's sad that your name can get dragged through the mud based upon untrue and malicious allegations alone."
There was speculation that Conley could slip into the second round or farther, but the Oakland Raiders weren’t deterred after conducting their own investigation of the incident. They took Conley with the 24th overall pick.
The NFL is not investigating the allegations against Conley because the incident occurred before he was drafted.
Conley signed his rookie contract with the Raiders on Friday. Now he’ll go into his first NFL season without criminal charges and the possibility of jail time hanging over his head.