NEW: Preliminary not guilty plea entered for the 26-year-old linebacker
Joshua McNary won't play this weekend after the Colts placed him on exempt list
A woman told police she took a phone from the apartment of a man who raped her
An Indianapolis Colts linebacker charged with felony rape “unhesitatingly denies all allegations,” according to a Thursday statement from the player’s lawyer.
The Colts announced they have placed Joshua McNary, who they signed as a free agent in April 2013, on the Exempt/Commissioner Permission list, so he will not be allowed to play in the team’s upcoming playoff matchups, but he will continue to be paid, in accordance with the National Football League’s updated personal conduct policy.
McNary was released early Thursday, according to the Marion County, Indiana, jail website. He posted a $25,000 bond and was ordered to wear an ankle bracelet for GPS monitoring, said Peg McLeish, a spokeswoman for the county prosecuting attorney.
He appeared at an initial hearing at which a preliminary not guilty plea was entered for him, she said. His next court date is a March 11 pretrial conference.
Defense attorney Edward Schrager said he would not be commenting further on the case, but said in his statement that the charges and affidavit “are not evidence of wrongdoing, but simply one side’s story.
“Joshua has full faith 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.”
Alleged victim: ‘I’m not OK with this’
McNary, 26, was taken into police custody and charged with felony rape, felony criminal confinement and misdemeanor battery resulting in bodily injury.
According to a probable cause affidavit, a 29-year-old woman reported to police on the morning of December 1 that she was raped hours earlier at the apartment of a man she met at a bar.
The woman recounted having numerous drinks at three establishments before she arrived at the apartment, and she didn’t remember exactly how she got there, the affidavit says. She recalled “being flirty” and “touchy-feely” as she and the man kissed, she told police.
“This wasn’t a problem and it was not aggressive,” she said, according to the affidavit.
Soon, though, she told the man that she “needed to lay down” because she was “really drunk,” the affidavit says. She lay in the man’s bed, and he began kissing her, which made her uncomfortable, and she noticed that he had taken his shirt off and she was “completely naked,” she told police.
“No. I’m too drunk for this. I need to lay down. I have to work, and I’m not OK with this,” she recalled telling the man, according to the affidavit.
She said she told the man several times she didn’t want to have sex and fought with him, scratching him on the face, neck, back and shoulder. The man initially tried to talk her into it, and then forced her to have sex on his bed, she told police. She told the man she wanted to leave on multiple occasions, but he wouldn’t let her, at one point, saying, “You’re gonna stay,” the affidavit says.
She eventually left the apartment and mistakenly took the man’s cell phone with her, she told police
A forensic nurse examined the woman and found injuries to her vagina and dried blood behind one ear.
McNary was cooperative, police say
The document indicates detectives used the cell phone to identify McNary the next day. When police arrived to search his apartment, he pointed to a pile of bedding in front of a washer and told police, “I preserved it for you because I knew you would be coming.” He had also taken photos of the sheets, in particular “blood stains and other soiled areas of the bedding,” the affidavit says.
McNary was cooperative, police indicated, and he asked for a lawyer after being advised of his rights.
A nurse found abrasions and scratches on his stomach, back, neck and shoulder, the document says. Investigators also found the woman’s clothing and an earring in McNary’s apartment.
The Colts said they were aware of the incident, but that was the “limit of our knowledge.” The team was working to gather facts before forming an opinion, the statement said.
NFL: Matter is ‘under review’
Colts spokesman Avis Roper said that after reviewing documents surrounding “the very serious criminal charges,” the team asked Commissioner Roger Goodell to place McNary on the exemption list.
“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 statement said.
A later statement confirmed McNary had been placed on the list.
The National Football League said the matter is “under review.”
Recently, the NFL revised its personal conduct policy. It includes a minimum six-game suspension for crimes involving violent conduct, including domestic violence and sexual assault. The league reviewed its stance after widespread criticism of its handling of the Ray Rice case.
McNary is listed as a second-string inside linebacker for the Colts, who play the New England Patriots on Sunday in the AFC championship game. He has 28 tackles – mostly on special teams – in 15 games this season.
The 6-foot, 251-pound player is in his second season. He played college football at Army and served in the military from 2011 to 2013 before joining the Colts.
CNN’s Jill Martin, Susan Candiotti, Tina Burnside, Dave Alsup, Erica Henry and Wayne Sterling contributed to this report.