Lions Coach Addresses Old Sexual Assault Charge

Alonzo Simpson
May 11, 2018

A grand jury indicted Patricia and his friend, Greg Dietrich, on one count of aggravated sexual assault, which carries a maximum sentence of up to life in prison in Texas.

"The New England Patriots were not aware of the matter which recently came to light", Belichick said Thursday. "For 14 years in our organizations, Matt conducted himself with great integrity and is known to be an outstanding coach, person and family man".

At the time of the alleged assault, Patricia was an aeronautical engineering major and offensive lineman at Division III Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. He became a graduate assistant at R.P.I. after graduating in 1996, and took a series of college coaching jobs before joining the New England Patriots in 2004, as an assistant.

Caught off guard by the disturbing news about their once well-received hire, the Lions issued a statement Wednesday night saying Patricia "was the subject of a". As a result, Coach Patricia never had the opportunity to present his case or clear his name publicly in a court of law. "It's never been part of any process I've done before".

The offseason had been relatively quiet for the Detroit Lions outside of one major move.

When Patricia was asked about the alleged incident or indictment, he repeated his denial.

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Patricia called the experience "very traumatic", and repeated a theme that's run through all his public statements to date: Family, love and respect are paramount to him, and he "does not condone" any behavior like that of which he was accused. "I was innocent then, and I'm innocent now".

The indictment never went to trial, and the case was dismissed in January 1997, after the woman who made the accusation was "unable to testify and cannot give a date certain when she will be available", according to the dismissal paperwork.

"I told them exactly what I said to you guys and told them the truth".

The Lions expressed support for Patricia in a joint statement by owner Martha Firestone Ford, General Manager Bob Quinn and Rod Wood, the team's president. As a result, he was wanted by more teams than just the Lions this offseason. After all, there's more than one competent team in the NFC North.

The league released the following statement on the matter Thursday morning: "We will review the matter with the club to understand the allegations and what the club has learned".

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