The lawyer for linebacker Barkevious Mingo criticized the Falcons for releasing the veteran after he was recently charged with indecency with a child—sexual contact.
"We are extremely disappointed in the Atlanta Falcons' rush to judgment in terminating Barkevious Mingo's contract before gathering all of the relevant facts and prior to my client having his day in court," Mingo's lead counsel, Chris Lewis, said in a statement to ESPN's Adam Schefter. "The accusation against Mr. Mingo is a lie. Barkevious knows it—so does his accuser."
The Falcons released Mingo on Saturday. That came as Mingo, 30, turned himself in “on his own accord in consultation with his attorney” and was released from custody after posting a $25,000 bond.
The charges stem from an incident alleged to take place in July 2019 and was brought to the attention of the Arlington, Texas, police department in January 2021, according to Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim.
SI obtained documents filed by Arlington PD pertaining to a search warrant detailing Mingo's alleged assault of a teenage boy who was a friend of Mingo's teenage family member. The documents describe Mingo's taking both boys to an amusement park and go-kart complex, then out to dinner. They also say he took the boys on a shopping spree. Mingo and the boys returned to a local hotel where Mingo was staying.
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.”
The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison under Texas state law.
Lewis said his client will be "fully vindicated when the truth comes to light. When that happens, the true motivation of the accuser will be clear and unambiguous."
Mingo was a first-round pick of the Browns in 2013. He has bounced around the league since then and played for five different teams over the past five seasons, including the Bears last year.
In March, he signed a one-year deal with the Falcons.
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