Indianapolis Colts linebacker Josh McNary is facing felony rape charges stemming from an incident reported to police in December, the Associated Press reported Wednesday. McNary, in his second season with the Colts, is also facing a felony charge of criminal confinement and a misdemeanor charge of battery resulting in a bodily injury.
The alleged incident took place on Dec. 1, according to police reports, in which an Indianapolis woman accused a man she didn’t know forcing her to have sex with him inside his apartment. Police later identified McNary as the man in question.
According to the police report, McNary and the woman ended up at his apartment after leaving a local bar, but she could not remember how. At one point they kissed, and she later went to his bedroom solely to lie down. When she rejected further advances, they had a physical altercation. After slapping her, McNary allegedly forced her to have sex with him for “quite awhile” even as she begged to leave the apartment and yelled for him to stop. A sexual assault examination found injuries to the woman’s vagina, the report states.
McNary denied the allegations.
“Josh McNary unhesitatingly denies all accusations made against him,” a statement from his attorneys said. “The charges and affidavit publicly disseminated on Wednesday afternoon are not evidence of wrong doing but simply one side’s story. Joshua has full and confidence in the American way, including its justice system, which he pledged to protect and defend as a West Point graduate and lieutenant in the United States Army.”
The charges against McNary come near the end of a season in which the NFL has faced scrutiny over its handling of domestic violence and sexual assault cases involving its players. The league issued updates to its conduct policy in December that put players on paid leave “if formally charged with a violent crime or sexual assault,” with an overall disciplinary decision to be made once legal proceedings conclude.
The Colts play the New England Patriots this Sunday in the AFC Championship Game. The Colts said in a statement Thursday that they had requested that the NFL put McNary on the commissioner’s exempt List — paid leave — which will keep him from practicing or attending the team’s games.
“After reviewing the documents supporting the very serious criminal charges filed yesterday afternoon against Josh McNary, the Colts have requested Commissioner Goodell to immediately place Josh on the League’s Commissioner Exemption list,” the Colts said, according to USA Today.
“If the request is granted, Josh will not be eligible to practice or attend games with the Club while designated as Commissioner Exempt. That designation will permit the investigation provided by the League’s Personal Conduct Policy to run its course and will afford Josh the opportunity to focus on his defense against the charges.
“The Colts sincerely hope this extraordinarily serious matter will be resolved expeditiously and that justice will prevail.”