Editor's Note: This article contains a graphic description of a sexual assault of a juvenile, as described to police.
Outside linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons Barkevious Mingo was arrested Thursday in Arlington, Texas, and charged with sexual contact with a child after turning himself in, according to the Arlington Police Department.
He turned himself in “on his own accord in consultation with his attorney,” according to an article by Sports Illustrated, and has been released from custody after posting a $25,000 bond.
Mingo’s attorney, Lukas Garcia, said in a statement that Mingo is innocent and the claims are baseless. Garcia also said he believes there’s an ulterior motive to charge Mingo and believes Mingo should be fully exonerated when there’s enough information.
The incident in question happened on the Fourth of July weekend in 2019 and was brought to the Arlington Police Department’s attention in January 2021. Mingo invited two teenage boys, one of which is Mingo’s family member, to Six Flags Over Texas. He also took the boys to K1 Speed, a go-kart complex in Dallas and dinner at BJ’s, according to documents from the Arlington PD for the investigation.
Along with paying for the parks and dinner, Mingo took the boys on a shopping spree and let them buy anything from the Nike website.
On the night of July 4, 2019, the boys stayed a night where Mingo was staying. Mingo was supposed to stay in a different room than the boys, but at around 3 a.m., one of the boys woke up and found Mingo in his bed. He said he didn’t think much of it and went back to sleep.
“The victim was then woken by [Mingo] pulling at his underwear," the document read. "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 Arlington Police asked Nike for sales records from that day after the investigation began in January. The detective said on the case that purchasing gifts for children is a common “grooming” behavior in child sexual abuse cases.
The Falcons released Mingo Saturday night after learning about the case. Mingo has played for seven different teams in his NFL career.