Detroit Lions Matt Patricia maintains innocence in '96 sexual assault case


Matt Patricia worked for 14 years in different capacities for the New England Patriots [VIDEO] before he accepted the head coaching job with the Detroit Lions.

Both Patricia and his former college teammate, Greg Dietrich, were indicted for aggravated sexual assault in August 1996, according to Texas court records. The accuser ended up not testifying, and the case was dismissed almost a year later.

Per Michael Rothstein of ESPN, Patricia spoke out publicly about it on Thursday morning, expressing his innocence along with pointing out that these charges were untrue.

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Patricia later added: "I am 100 percent the head coach of the Detroit Lions". Belichick also praised Patricia for being an "outstanding person, coach and family man". "We have always been confident in Matt's character and reccomended him highly to become the head coach of the Detroit Lions". He rose to defensive coordinator, a position he held for six years before being hired by the Lions this off-season.

"I'm here to defend my honor and clear my name", Patricia began, after thanking the Lions leadership and team for their support.

Patricia then fielded questions and was met by a question from a reporter who asked how he could not think this would have resurfaced given the ongoing #MeToo movement, to which Patricia replied that he had been interviewing for jobs for 22 years and "it was never an issue".

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Patricia brought up his family during his presser, stating that his parents "taught me to know the difference between right and wrong" and that he had two older sisters who taught him "respect and love".

He later said no one within the organization knew about the allegation and indictment at the time of his hiring and that it "never came up in the interview process but I've always been truthful about it when it was addressed".

Wood, the Lions' president, told the Detroit News: "Our background check was limited to employment matters only and does not disclose any criminal matters that don't result in a conviction or a plea agreement". After all, there's more than one competent team in the NFC North.

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The NFL said Thursday that it would "review the matter with the club to understand the allegations and what the club has learned".