Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, breaking news, sweepstakes, and more!
A former linebacker for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons has been accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy at a Texas hotel two years ago, police said this week.
Barkevious Mingo turned himself in to police in Arlington, Texas on July 8 and was arrested on suspicion of one count of indecency with a child by sexual contact.
In 2019, Mingo allegedly pressed his penis against a 13-year-old boy prior to gifting the boy Nike clothes and go-karts, Arlington police said. Detectives first received a report from a 15-year-old boy in January who accused Mingo of sexually abusing him following a shopping spree funded by the former pro-athlete that summer.
That incident allegedly unfolded on July 4, 2019, according to the child’s mother, who told authorities her son was 13 at the time.
According to investigators, that day the child was hanging out with his best friend, who is related to Mingo. The athlete allegedly took the two boys to Six Flags, bought them a season pass to K1 Speed, took them to dinner, and later brought them to a hotel room.
Hours prior to the alleged abuse, Mingo funded an online shopping spree on Nike’s website.
“[Mingo] allowed the boys to buy anything they wanted,” the probable cause statement alleged.
A rainbow Nike T-Shirt, blue Nike shoes, and a pair of Nike shorts were later shipped to the accuser's best friend’s home in Arlington, investigators said. A search warrant, which was obtained by Oxygen.com, was issued for Nike’s sales records. A spokesperson for Nike confirmed the clothing giant is cooperating with investigators.
At about 2 a.m., Mingo allegedly got into the 13-year-old’s bed, then “pulled [his] pants down and touched” the young boy. The teen said he was “awoken by [Mingo] pulling at his underwear.” The boy said he thought it was odd because Mingo was supposed to be sleeping in a different room.
“This occurred for a few minutes until the suspect got more aggressive and pulled the victim’s underwear down to his shins,” the probable cause statement says.
The teen told detectives he was scared and therefore pretended to be sleeping.
Mingo then allegedly put a lotion on the boy, which made his skin burn, and “rubbed his penis up and down, in between the victim’s butt crack,” according to investigators.
Months later, the 13-year-old’s friend again invited him to get together at his home, according to text messages obtained by law enforcement. The child declined because Mingo was present, according to the report.
The accuser's friend wrote him in a text indicating that Mingo wouldn't do anything, according to the probable cause statement.
Mingo denied the accusations in a telephone interview with detectives as he admitted to getting two rooms at the hotel on the night of the alleged sexual assault; police said he stated he slept in a single bed by himself while the 13-year-old and his friend were in the double room. Mingo also advised detectives there was no reason for 13-year-old to be scared of him, the document states.
The victim’s friend, however, discounted the athlete’s version of events, claiming he and Mingo had shared a room together.
Medical staff at Cook Children’s Hospital found the victim’s story to be credible following a sexual assault exam.
The Falcons fired Mingo from the team on July 11 after news of his arrest broke.
“After being made aware today of allegations involving Barkevious Mingo and gathering information on the matter, the Atlanta Falcons have terminated his contract,” says the statement issued by the team.
Mingo, a first-round selection, was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2013. The 30-year-old Louisiana native, who has played 126 NFL games, has 12.5 career-total sacks, according to league stats. Prior to his pro career, he spent four seasons playing for the Louisiana State University Tigers.
Mingo’s legal team blasted the Atlanta Falcons regarding the abrupt firing over the weekend.
“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,” defense attorney Chris Lewis said in the statement to Oxygen.com. “The accusation against Mr. Mingo is a lie. Barkevious knows it — so does his accuser.”
Lewis added he was committed to working with investigators to clear Mingo’s name.
“He is ready to prove his innocence,” he added. “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.”
Mingo hasn’t yet been indicted in the incident, Lewis said. He’s since been released after posting a $25,000 bond. If convicted, Mingo could face a maximum penalty of up to two decades in prison, according to state law.
Anna Tinsley Williams, a communications manager for the Tarrant County District Attorney's Office, declined to comment on the pending case on Monday.
Crime News is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for Oxygen Insider for all the best true crime content.