In the aftermath of Monday’s meeting between Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley and Cleveland police, Conley’s lawyer admitted for the first time that consensual sex occurred between Conley and the woman accusing him of rape. Conley’s lawyer is now complaining about the manner in which that apparent shift in the defense strategy has been received by the media.
Attorney Kevin Spellacy tells Ian Rapoport of NFL Media that “[n]othing Gareon has said has been inconsistent,” and that Spellacy was “NOT referring to intercourse” when he acknowledged that a “consensual sexual event” occurred.
Here’s the problem with Spellacy’s latest comments. In the statement provided by Conley last week, Conley said the following: “There were several witnesses, including another female, who were present the entire time and have given statements that give an accurate account of what took place.”
The female referenced in Conley’s statement opted not to speak to police at the time they responded to the rape allegation by coming to the hotel room where it allegedly happened. Two men who were still in the room, however, did speak to police. (Conley had already left the premises.) Both of the male witnesses told police that nothing happened between Conley and the alleged victim.
So while Conley never specifically said publicly that “nothing happened,” his express reference to the witness statements creates a clear inconsistency. Unless the two male witnesses abruptly changed their version of the events in statements provided separately to Conley’s representatives, Conley’s reliance on their statements contradicts his lawyer’s admission of a “consensual sexual event.” If that were the case, someone from Conley’s camp should have pointed out the shift in recollection by the two male witnesses, in order to avoid the false impression that Conley was referring to the only witness statements about which anyone was aware, the statements from two male witnesses who insisted that nothing happened.
It’s now clear that something happened. Which is clearly an inconsistency. It’s the kind of inconsistency that could prompt a prosecutor to decide to put all of the facts in front of a jury, and to ask the jury to figure out what did and didn’t happen and, more accurately, who’s telling the truth and who isn’t.
Someone isn’t telling the truth, and Spellacy’s effort to harmonize the admission of a “consensual sexual event” with the story that was being pushed to the media last week by Conley and his representatives is failing, badly.