Woman who accused ex-Ohio State star Gareon Conley is traumatized by incident, attorney says


CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The attorney for the 23-year-old woman who accused former Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley of rape at a downtown Cleveland hotel said Tuesday that his client is traumatized by the attack and the national media coverage.

The attorney, Patrick Thomas, said the woman is cooperating with police in the investigation. He said she has been in regular contact with Cleveland Sex Crimes detectives and is hoping for charges to be filed in the case.

"As you can imagine, any victim, any woman that has to endure a sexual assault, so it's been a very difficult few weeks at this point," Thomas said. "It has been even more difficult with the media coverage."

Cleveland.com generally does not name criminal suspects unless they are formally charged, but Conley issued a statement Tuesday denying any wrongdoing. He said in the statement that he has video evidence that contradicts the woman's accusations.

Conley is a considered to a top NFL prospect and the league's draft is set for Thursday.

The woman reported April 9 that she and Conley met on an elevator at the Westin Hotel on St. Clair Avenue. Thomas said they had never met before that night and only knew about Conley's stature as a high-profile athlete last week.

Cleveland police released a report Tuesday on the incident.

Conley and the woman went into his hotel room, along with two of Conley's friends and another woman, according to the report.

Police reports say Conley asked the woman to take part in a foursome and the woman declined. The woman told Conley she wanted to watch the other couple having sex in the bathroom in order to distract him from his sexual advances, the police report says.

She said Conley grabbed her, ripped her pants off and raped her, according to the report. She repeatedly told Conley to stop and that he was hurting her, the report says.

After the encounter, the woman told police that he kicked her out of the hotel room, the police report says. He also later left the room.

The woman called police about 3:50 a.m. Officers went to the room and found the two men asleep in the room.

Conley's friends told police that nothing happened and that the two never had sex. They also told police that the woman began angry after being kicked out of the hotel room, according to the police report.

Thomas said that the woman has been getting counseling to help cope with the attack.

"There's going to be a long period of healing and counseling and medical treatment to get through this ordeal," Thomas said.

Conley's attorney, Kevin Spellacy, said on Tuesday that the woman was being "opportunistic" and that she lied about the accusations.

Thomas said he wanted to ensure the public that the woman is of "high-integrity."

"She is a private person and thankfully has a good family support and friends network that is helping her at this time," Thomas said. "But she is not a person that would want to cause harm to anyone."

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