CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - There have been numerous conversations at Cleveland 19 News about the report you are about to read. There's a lot at stake. It involves a young woman who said she was sexually assaulted, a young man who is about to start his NFL career, and a team who may be taking a huge risk drafting a player who's under investigation right here in Cleveland.
Police radio traffic coming from downtown Cleveland's Westin Hotel after 3 a.m. Sunday, April 9 sheds light on the moment officers arrived on scene: "Officers on scene, no call back -- 23-year-old female conscious and breathing, victim of a sexual assault."
The accused is a college football player who is expected to be taken in the first round of Thursday's NFL Draft.
We are not naming the player because we're waiting for the police report. And we want to be very clear he has not been officially charged with a crime at this point.
By phone, investigative producer Cassie Nist spoke to the player's attorney, Kevin Spellacy, who said he is representing the player in this matter, but said the accusations are "ludicrous and ridiculous."
"In my opinion this young lady is an opportunist and it's actually despicable," said Spellacy.
The player's attorney says it all started at the Barley House on West 6th Street, when a group left there to go to the Westin for a hotel room party. He said his client was never alone with the alleged victim, and he has three witnesses who said he did nothing wrong. When police arrived at the Westin, the player had already left. The attorney said he is willing to bring his client in to be interviewed by police, but not right away. He has made arrangements for the interview to be held right after the NFL Draft.
There is a lot at stake. It's just days before the draft and one of the top picks has his name on paperwork somewhere on a Cleveland detective's desk. We'd like to see that paperwork. Normally we can. But for some reason we -- the media -- are being held up.