Editor’s note: This story contains a graphic account of an alleged sexual crime.
Barkevious Mingo, an outside linebacker for the Falcons and nine-year NFL veteran, was arrested in suburban Dallas on Thursday and charged with indecency with a child—sexual contact, according to the Arlington Police Department. He turned himself in “on his own accord in consultation with his attorney” and has been released from custody after posting a $25,000 bond.
Mingo’s attorney, Lukas Garcia, provided the following statement to SI via Mingo’s agent: “The allegations out of Tarrant County against my client are completely baseless. Barkevious Mingo is innocent. At this stage, our side has very limited information. What we do know is these allegations are from over two years ago and are completely untrue. Mr. Mingo is the victim of a false claim, and we believe this is motivated by money or some other ulterior motive. We are confident when the truth comes to light, my client will be fully exonerated.”
Sports Illustrated has learned the charges stem from an alleged incident that took place over the July 4th weekend of 2019 and was brought to the attention of the Arlington PD in January 2021.
According to documents filed by Arlington PD pertaining to a search warrant and obtained by SI:
Mingo invited a teenage family member and the boy’s friend, also a teenager, to spend the day with him. Mingo took the boys to the Six Flags Over Texas amusement park in Arlington and K1 Speed, a Dallas-area go-kart complex. They had dinner at BJ’s restaurant, a popular local steakhouse. Mingo paid for everything, including a season pass to K1 Speed.
Mingo also treated the boys to a shopping spree, paying for items they chose from Nike.com. The relative’s friend chose a variety of T-shirts, shoes and shorts. The gear was shipped to the boy at the address of his friend, Mingo’s family member.
On the night of July 4, 2019, the boys returned to the local hotel where Mingo was staying. According to the documents obtained by Sports Illustrated, the boy fell asleep, but at approximately 3 a.m. he woke up and noticed Mingo in bed with him. He “thought it was odd,” according to documents, because the plan was for the two boys to sleep in a room separate from Mingo. He thought little of it and went back to sleep.
According to the document, “The victim was then woken by [Mingo] pulling at his underwear. This occurred for a few minutes until the suspect got more and aggressive and pulled the victim’s underwear down to his shins. The victim advised that when this was occurring, he was scared and pretended to be asleep. [Mingo] put a lotion on that made the victim’s skin burn and … rubbed his penis up and down, in between the victim’s butt crack.”
When, in January 2021, the boy’s mother made a complaint to the local police, the case was assigned to a detective with the Arlington Police Department Crimes Against Children Unit. In February 2021, as part of the investigation, Arlington police applied to the Tarrant County Judge David C. Hagerman for a search warrant to obtain Nike’s sales records from July 4, 2019, pertaining to three orders.
As the Arlington police detective put forth in the application, the “evidence will corroborate the victim’s statements. Furthermore it is known to [the detective] … that purchasing gifts for children is a known “grooming” behavior in Child Sexual Abuse cases.”
SI has learned that Nike complied with this order.
Mingo has played for seven NFL teams, starting with the Browns, the franchise that selected him sixth in the 2013 draft. He played in Super Bowl LI for the New England Patriots, recording two special teams tackles in the victory.
In July 2019, he was a member of the Seahawks, who traded him to the Texans later that summer. He spent the 2020 season with the Bears, and in March signed a one-year deal to join the Falcons.
The Falcons released Mingo Saturday night after "gathering information on the matter."