Arlington, TX – The Atlanta Falcons fired linebacker Barkevious Mingo on Saturday night after he was charged with having had sexual contact with a child.
Mingo was arrested on July 8 in Texas for the second-degree felony of indecency with a child – sexual contact, FOX News reported.
The Arlington Police Department would not provide any detailed information about the investigation or what led up to Mingo’s arrest, citing the nature of the charges and the age of the victim.
If convicted, the National Football League (NFL) linebacker would face up to 20 years in prison, according to ESPN.
According to state statutes, the charge related to having sexual contact with someone younger than 17 years old and causing that child to have sexual contact.
Mingo was released on a $25,000 bond, TMZ reported.
The Atlanta Falcons organization initially put out a statement after Mingo was arrested that said they were aware of the allegations, took them seriously, and were gathering information about the incident.
But by July 10, the team’s management had learned enough to cause them to release Mingo from the Falcons, ESPN reported.
“After being made aware today of allegations involving Barkevious Mingo and gathering information on the matter, the Atlanta Falcons have terminated his contract,” the Atlanta Falcons said in a statement released Saturday night.
Lukas Garcia, Mingo’s lawyer, said the allegations were completely baseless, ESPN reported.
“At this stage, our side has very limited information,” Garcia said. “What we do know is these allegations are from over two years ago and are completely untrue. Mr. Mingo is the victim of a false claim, and we believe this is motivated by money or some other ulterior motive.”
Mingo signed a one-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons in March, ESPN reported.
The 30-year-old linebacker was a first-round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2013, but has bounced around ever since.
He has played for six teams in his eight-year NFL career, including the New England Patriots, the Seattle Seahawks, and the Chicago Bears, ESPN reported.
Mingo played for the Patriots in 2017 and had two tackles in the Patriots 34-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl that year.
Mingo has earned about $27.9 million in salary over his career, ESPN reported.