The Atlanta Falcons released Barkevious Mingo over the weekend after the linebacker was arrested in a child sex offense case. The Arlington (Texas) Police Department told TMZ Sports that Mingo was arrested on Thursday, July 8 on one count of indecency with a child -- sexual contact. Mingo turned himself in on his own accord, a bond had been posted and the 30-year-old was later released from custody.
"We have terminated the contract of Barkevious Mingo," the Falcons tweeted. TMZ Sports reports that the charge is a second-degree felony, which can carry up to a 20-year prison sentence in Texas if convicted.
Mingo's lead counsel, Chris Lewis, said in a statement to ESPN's Adam Schefter that the Falcons rushed to judgement by releasing his client before the facts had come out, and called the accusation of indecency "a lie."
"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. "The accusation against Mr. Mingo is a lie. Barkevious knows it -- so does his accuser."
Earlier on Saturday, the Falcons had said in the statement: "Our organization became aware of the allegations involving Barkevious Mingo today and are currently gathering information on this incident. The Falcons take the allegations very seriously and will continue to monitor the situation."
Mingo originally entered the NFL as the No. 6 overall pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2013. More recently, the LSU product has bounced around the league making stops with the Patriots, Colts, Seahawks, Texans and Bears. Back in March of this offseason, he signed a one-year deal to join the Falcons.