Weeks after rape allegations, police still need to take statement from Gareon Conley

Posted at 6:49 PM, Apr 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-26 18:50:41-04

Seventeen days after a woman accused a former Ohio State football player and National Football League hopeful of sexual assault, Cleveland police tell News 5 they still trying to track him down for a statement.

According to police records obtained by News 5, Conley, 21, is accused of raping a woman in the bathroom of a room at the Westin Hotel on St. Clair Avenue in the early morning of April 9.

Police were in the hotel collecting statements from the victim and witnesses who were in the room within approximately one hour of when the incident is alleged to have happened. After talking to officers, the 23-year-old woman was transported to MetroHealth Medical Center, where a rape kit was administered.

Rape law expert and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law professor Patricia Falk said that in most cases with a named suspect, investigators try to interview that person as soon as possible.

“It’s really important to interview the person that’s accused of the crime to get that story on the record and all the details are fleshed out at that time,” Falk explained.

RELATED: Top NFL Draft prospect Gareon Conley, in statement, calls rape allegations 'completely false'

She said failing to gather the suspect’s statement in a timely manner could hurt the ability to bring criminal charges, if necessary.

“It depreciates the seriousness of an offense if a prompt investigation isn’t going to follow,” she said.

No charges have been filed against Conley.

In a statement Wednesday, the NFL first round-hopeful said he would not be attending Thursday’s NFL Draft as a result of the allegations.

“I was excited about participating in Thursday’s draft but I have decided that it would be selfish for me to stay and be a distraction to the NFL, the other player and their families who have worked just as hard as me to enjoy the experience so I will not be in attendance,” he said, in part.

Conley said the allegations are not true and do not fit his character.