Barkevious Mingo was released by the Falcons this past weekend after he turned himself into Arlington, Texas police on a charge of indecency with a child sexual contact. Chris Lewis, the lead counsel for the former Falcons’ linebacker, released a statement criticizing the organization after his client had been released.
“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,” Lewis said, via Adam Schefter of ESPN. “The accusation against Mr. Mingo is a lie. Barkevious knows it — so does his accuser.”
“Mr. Mingo appreciates the law enforcement officers have a tough job to do, and he is fully committed to cooperating with the authorities to clear his name. As soon as Barkevious became aware of the arrest warrant, he immediately travelled to Texas to turn himself in and answer to the charge. Now, he is ready to prove his innocence.”
“Mr. Mingo understands the seriousness of an accusation like this and the immediate negative impact it can have on a person’s reputation, even when there is zero evidence. But, he also knows that he will be fully vindicated when the truth comes to light. When that happens, the true motivation of the accuser will be clear and unambiguous.”
This comes after a different attorney called the accusation completely baseless prior to Mingo’s release.
“The allegations out of Tarrant County against my client are completely baseless,” Garcia said, via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. “Barkevious Mingo is innocent. At this stage, our side has very limited information. What we do know is these allegations are from over two years ago and are completely untrue. Mr. Mingo is the victim of a false claim, and we believe this is motivated by money or some other ulterior motive. We are confident when the truth comes to light, my client will be fully exonerated.”
Mingo was released on a $25,000 bond, and the second-degree felony charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. I would fully expect every NFL organization to take immediate action in a case like this, and I doubt at 30-years-old any team would be interested in him at this point in his career.