Former Ohio State, Raiders CB Gareon Conley faces lawsuit for alleged sexual assault in Cleveland

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - It was this time last year an investigation was being conducted by Cleveland Police against then Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley for the alleged rape of a woman in a Cleveland hotel.

The alleged incident happened on April 9, 2017 after Conley and several others were at the downtown bar Barley House, but then continued the party at the Westin Hotel blocks away.

The victim alleges to have been raped by Conley in his hotel room a claim Conley continually denied in the weeks leading up to the NFL Draft.

Conley was eventually taken by the Oakland Raiders with the 24th pick in the first round.

The complaint was heard by a grand jury that decided not to proceed with any charges on July 31, 2017 and the case against Conley was dropped.

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That concluded the criminal side of the case but not the civil side.

On April 6, 2018 a civil lawsuit was filed with the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas court on behalf of the alleged victim.

We do not publish the names of alleged sexual assault victims and will not be naming her here.

The young woman has named a number of defendants in the suit including Conley, his sports agency Vantage Management Group, and Westin Hotel and is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $25,000 from each party named.

In the lawsuit the alleged victim claims, "Conley physically touched and engaged in sexual contact with the Plaintiff, and sexually assaulted, battered and raped Plaintiff."

As for why the women is suing the hotel the lawsuit claims security did nothing to help her after she was able to leave Conley's room saying, "...Plaintiff reported that an assault had taken place in the hotel. Westin staff did not provide necessary assistance to Plaintiff after the assault or conduct any investigation."

The young woman is claiming she, "...sustained serious physical, psychological, emotional and mental injuries."

Cleveland 19 has reached out to attorneys for both the alleged victim and Conley.

While we have no response from Conley's representatives here is a comment from the attorney for the alleged victim:

The City of Cleveland has not shared or disclosed its investigation or any reports, despite requests, regarding the acts set forth in the Complaint.  We have no way of knowing how thorough the criminal investigation was or whether it was diligently and timely performed by police officers.  Similarly, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office has not disclosed the grand jury proceedings, and evidence and witness testimony used in the proceeding are largely unknown.  Regardless, the legal standards for the city’s investigation of crimes and the current lawsuit are different, and this lawsuit is unaffected by the criminal proceeding.

The timing of this complaint is based on a number of factors, and we have no further comment on this. 

We intend to zealously pursue justice on behalf our client, whose life has been substantially and negatively impacted by the events last April.  Prior public statements made by others regarding these events are excuses that have long been used to justify sexual assaults, and do not threaten the facts and legal claims in the Complaint, which we are confident will be proven at trial. 

Patrick J. Thomas

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