The lawyer for linebacker Barkevious Mingo has chastised the Atlanta Falcons for releasing the veteran after he was charged with indecency with a child-sexual contact.
"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," Mingo's lead counsel, Chris Lewis, said in a statement given to ESPN's Adam Schefter. "The accusation against Mr. Mingo is a lie. Barkevious knows it -- so does his accuser."
Mingo, 30, was released by the team Saturday after the Falcons were made aware of his Thursday arrest on the second-degree felony charge. According to Tarrant County records, Mingo was released on $25,000 bond Friday.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison under Texas state law. According to the state penal code, indecency with a child-sexual contact relates to engaging in sexual contact with someone younger than 17 years of age or causing the child to engage in sexual contact.
An arrest warrant obtained Monday by ESPN details the allegations by a then 13-year-old boy, who says Mingo pulled at his underwear and touched him inappropriately in July 2019. The boy says he and a friend were staying at a hotel with Mingo after a trip to an amusement park and restaurant, according to the warrant.
Lewis said his client 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 signed a one-year contract with the Falcons in March. The 2013 first-round pick by the Cleveland Browns has bounced around the NFL since being traded to the New England Patriots in 2016, playing for five different teams over the past five seasons, including the Chicago Bears in 2020.