Barkevious Mingo, a veteran NFL linebacker, was relieved of his one-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday after being arrested in Dallas. The nine-year NFL veteran was charged with indecency with a child, per the Arlington Police Department. Mingo turned himself in on Thursday “of his own accord in consultation with his attorney,” and has since posted bail at $25,000.
The NFL linebacker stands accused of pulling a boy’s underwear down while he was sleeping, before attempting to force himself on the teenager in a Texas hotel room. The incident allegedly occurred in 2019, during a July Fourth weekend. Mingo reportedly invited a teenage family member and their friend for a weekend excursion together, ending in the hotel room where the alleged sexual assault took place.
A warrant issued by the Arlington Police Department details the accusations, claiming Barkevious Mingo brought the teenagers to an amusement park and a go-kart complex, as well as treated them to a steakhouse dinner. Mingo also reportedly bought the teenage boys clothes from Nike, before bringing them back to his Texas hotel room on July 4, 2019.
It was in the hotel room that Mingo allegedly forced himself on the underaged boy. According to the warrant, “the victim was woken up” in the middle of the night as Mingo was “pulling at his underwear.” Mingo then reportedly became more “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.”
The warrant says that Barkevious Mingo attempted to have intercourse with the unidentified victim, though it doesn’t specify the details of the encounter. The initial complaint was filed in January by the victim’s mother before it was assigned to the Arlington Police Department Crimes Against Children Unit.
Barkevious Mingo’s lawyer has been outspoken since his client’s $1.1 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons was terminated, claiming the termination was a “rush to judgment.” In a statement to ESPN, Mingo’s lead counsel, Chris Lewis, explained that “we are extremely disappointed in the Atlanta Falcons.” Lewis purports that the NFL team terminated Mingo’s contract “before gathering all the relevant facts and prior to my client having his day in court.”
In the statement, Lewis claims that “the accusation against Mr. Mingo is a lie. Barkevious knows it — so does his accuser.” Lewis says 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.”
If convicted, Barkevious Mingo faces up to 20 years in prison under Texas state law. Currently, police are in the process of corroborating the victim’s story, by obtaining Nike’s sales records from July 4, 2019. The Arlington police applied for the search warrant in February, which the detectives believe will provide evidence that can “corroborate the victim’s statements.”
According to the warrant application, Nike’s sale receipts will also help connect the suspect to the crime since “purchasing gifts for children is a known ‘grooming’ behavior in Child Sexual Abuse cases.” Sports Illustrated reported that Nike has since complied with the order, though it isn’t clear if the sales receipts are currently being used as evidence in the case.
One of Barkevious Mingo’s lawyers, Lukas Garcia, claims the allegations are “completely baseless,” and that “Mingo is the victim of a false claim.” In a statement to NFL Network, Garcia said that the legal teams believe “this is motivated by money or some other ulterior motives,” and are “confident when the truth comes to light, [Barkevious Mingo] will be fully exonerated.”
Drafted to the Cleveland Browns in 2013, Mingo is a nine-year veteran of the NFL and won Super Bowl LI with the New England Patriots. He was recently traded to the Atlanta Falcons, where he signed a $1.1 million contract for one year of play, though Mingo has since been terminated.