July 5, 2018 / 8:27 PM / 10 months ago

Raiders' Conley countersues rape accuser

File photo: Jan 1, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Chris Brown (2) catches a touchdown pass against Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Gareon Conley (8) during the second half of the 2016 Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images

Oakland Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley has filed a counter lawsuit against the woman who accused him of raping her in 2017.

Conley’s suit states the woman is liable for “malicious criminal prosecution” after her allegations damaged his reputation, hurt his draft stock and cost him an endorsement deal with Nike, according to documents filed Monday.

The lawsuit, which asks for compensatory damages of at least $25,000, also claims 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.”

Conley’s suit is in response to a civil lawsuit the woman filed this April, a year after she accused Conley of raping her in an April 9, 2017 incident. The news of her allegation emerged shortly before the 2017 NFL Draft, in which Conley was considered a possible top-10 pick.

Conley, who vehemently denied the allegations when they first surfaced, was ultimately selected 24th overall out of Ohio State by the Raiders, despite the investigation remaining open. Many teams had conducted late investigations before the draft to vet the accusations and Conley, who reportedly took a polygraph test with the Baltimore Ravens.

No charges were filed against Conley — who met with police after the draft to give a DNA sample and a statement — after the allegation was brought before a grand jury in July 2017.

Conley released a statement after the grand jury’s ruling, “The past few months have been extremely trying for me and my family. Although I was the target of malicious and false accusations, I do realize, however, that I could’ve exercised better judgment and that there are still lessons for me to take away and grow from.”

Conley, 23, played two games in his rookie season with the Raiders, missing the majority of the season with a shin injury that eventually required surgery.

—Field Level Media

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