Oakland Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley has filed a counter lawsuit against a woman who said he raped her in a Cleveland hotel room last year.
Conley’s lawsuit, filed on Monday in reaction to a civil suit filed by the woman in April, claimed that the accusation affected his draft stock, “costing him millions of dollars” and endorsement deals, “including a contract with Nike.”
Before the accusation surfaced in the week of the 2017 NFL draft, Conley was seen as a potential top-10 selection out of Ohio State. Instead, he fell to the Raiders at No. 24 overall as Oakland selected him despite an ongoing investigation.
A grand jury declined to indict Conley, who maintained his innocence, last August, though the woman filed a civil suit in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on April 6.
Conley’s lawsuit also claims that the woman “instituted and continued the criminal prosecution of Conley with malice … because she was upset that Conley refused to have sex with her, or to position her to be able to squeeze a pay-off from Conley, or both.”
As such, Conley’s suit is demanding compensatory damages of no less than $25,000.
Conley suffered a shin injury in minicamp last year and appeared in only two games for the Raiders in 2017 and underwent surgery. He has healed and is expected to play a major part in new coach Jon Gruden’s rebuilt roster as the starting left cornerback.
“It’s been a dark world that he’s been in, this young man,” Gruden said last month of Conley. “He’s had a terrible injury he had to rehab from, he’s had to change coaches, learn a new system, and it’s been a slow and steady process. But, man, is he a good player. When he’s feeling good, you can see why we picked him [in the first round].”
Conley said he was looking forward to getting back on the field.
“I have a chip on my shoulder, but I don’t really try to prove people wrong, though,” he said. I’m worried about myself and getting back mentally.”
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