A player for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles has been charged with kidnapping and rape less than two weeks before the team is due to play in the Super Bowl.
Joshua Sills, 25, an offensive guard for the team, was charged on Wednesday by prosecutors in Ohio.
In 2019, he “engaged in sexual activity that was not consensual and held a victim against her will”, they say.
The Eagles will play the Kansas City Chiefs for the championship in Arizona on 12 February.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Guernsey County Sheriff Jeffrey Paden said in a statement on Wednesday that the alleged incident was said to have occurred on 5 December 2019.
They added that the “crime was immediately reported” and that the local sheriff’s office swiftly began conducting “a detailed investigation”.
He was issued with a summons to appear in court on 16 February.
Both the team and NFL issued statements after the charges were filed.
“The organisation is aware of the legal matter involving Josh Sills,” the Eagles said in a statement.
“We have been in communication with the league office and are in the process of gathering more information. We have no further comment at this time.”
The NFL said: “The matter will be reviewed under the NFL’s personal conduct policy.”
It added that Mr Sills had been placed on the Commissioner Exempt List, meaning he is banned from games, practices and team travel.
Mr Sills was a rookie for the team in 2022, and played in one regular game season this past year.