Raiders’ Gareon Riley files countersuit over rape charges
By Bob Garcia
Gareon Conley was an up-and-coming star cornerback on his way from Ohio State to the NFL. That is, until he was accused of raping a woman in a hotel room in Cleveland last year. The accusation had a profound impact on Conley, with teams turning away from him and Nike canceling a sizeable contract. A grand jury decided last August not to indict Conley, and he is now looking for restitution from his accuser.
Conley has said that the accusation has potentially cost him millions in earnings and endorsements. He filed the lawsuit claiming that the woman "instituted and continued the criminal prosecution of Conley with malice … because she was upset that Conley refused to have sex with her, or to position her to be able to squeeze a pay-off from Conley, or both." He is asking for compensation of at least $25,000.
Although the criminal lawsuit was negated, Conley isn’t done yet. He now has to respond to a civil suit brought against him by the woman in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court in Ohio.
Conley, expected to be a top-ten pick in the draft, was finally accepted by the Raiders despite the then-ongoing case. He suffered an injury during preseason training last year and was only available for two games. The Raiders have indicated that he has gone through rehabilitation and should be back on the field this year as the team’s starting left cornerback.
Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden said of Conley last month, "It’s been a dark world that he’s been in, this young man. He’s had a terrible injury he had to rehab from, he’s had to change coaches, learn a new system, and it’s been a slow and steady process. But, man, is he a good player. When he’s feeling good, you can see why we picked him [in the first round]."