What to Know
- The alleged incident reportedly took place on July 4, 2019, and was reported earlier this year.
- NFL player was entertaining a young relative and the child's best friend when the incident was alleged to have taken place.
- The player's lawyer says the accusation is a lie; expressed disappointment the NFL player's contract was terminated.
NFL linebacker Barkevious Mingo, who was arrested in Arlington last week after being accused of indecency with a child, allegedly tugged at a teenage boy's underwear and tried to initiate sex while in a hotel room, according to a search warrant obtained by NBC 5. Mingo's attorney says the allegations are a lie and that his client will be vindicated.
Mingo, 30, was arrested Thursday after he traveled to North Texas to surrender to Arlington police. He was freed a short time later after posting $25,000 bail. Two days later the Atlanta Falcons said they'd terminated his contract.
According to a search warrant, Mingo was entertaining a young relative and his best friend, who was 13 at the time, during a visit to North Texas over the July Fourth holiday in 2019.
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During the visit, the alleged victim said Mingo took the boys to Six Flags, K1 Speed, and then a restaurant for dinner before they all went back to stay at his hotel. The victim also told police Mingo allowed them to buy anything they wanted from the Nike website and that those items, including clothing and shoes, were sent back to the relative's home.
At the hotel, the 13-year-old boy told police he woke up and noticed Mingo was in the bed with him.
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"The victim thought this was odd because the plan had been for him to sleep in the other room with his best friend. The victim advised he did not think much of it and went back to sleep," the affidavit said. "The victim was then awoken by the suspect pulling at his underwear."
The affidavit goes on to describe this occurring for several minutes until Mingo got more aggressive and pulled the boy's underwear down to his shins. The boy told police he, "was scared and pretended to be asleep."
The child told police Mingo put lotion on him that made his skin burn and that he felt the man rubbing his body against his.
Investigators obtained the search warrant to recover purchase orders from Nike to "corroborate the victim's statements" about the orders made that night. Investigators said "purchasing gifts for children is a known 'grooming' behavior in child sex abuse cases."
It is not clear from the search warrant if Nike was able to confirm the orders placed. Police also have been hesitant to release further details citing the ongoing investigation.
Mingo was a sixth-overall pick in 2013 by the Cleveland Browns who has also played professionally for the Patriots, Colts, Seahawks, Texans and Bears. In March 2021, Mingo was signed to a one-year deal by the Falcons.
After learning of the allegation against him the Falcons fired him.
"After being made aware today of allegations involving Barkevious Mingo and gathering information on the matter, the Atlanta Falcons have terminated his contract," the team said on their website Sunday.
Mingo's attorney, Chris Lewis, via Adam Schefter of ESPN, said Monday Mingo's firing was a "rush to judgment" and that the allegations against Mingo are "a lie."
"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. The accusation against Mr. Mingo is a lie. Barkevious knows it -- so does his accuser."
Lewis, via the statement to ESPN, said Mingo is committed to cooperating with law enforcement in the investigation and clearing his name.
"As soon as Barkevious became aware of the arrest warrant he immediately traveled to Texas to turn himself in and answer to the charge. Now, he is ready to prove his innocence," Lewis said.