Lions Coach Matt Patricia Denies Sexual Assault Charge From 1996

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Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia has issued a statement explaining that he was wrongly accused sexual assault while he was a college student in 1996.

Robert Snell the Detroit News recently unearthed the case and released a report about it on Wednesday night, prompting Patricia to address the claims. According to the report, during a 1996 spring break trip on South Padre Island in Texas, a 21-year old woman alleged to police that two football players from New York’s Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute “burst” into her hotel room and took turns sexually assaulting her.

A Texas grand jury ultimately indicted each man, including Patricia, aggravated sexual assault and a trial was scheduled for January 1997. However, the woman declined to testify saying she didn't think she should "face the pressure and stress a trial." With no victim to testify, prosecutors dismissed the charges.

The Lions say they were unaware the case when they hired Patricia in February, but owner Martha Ford, team president Rod Wood and general manager Bob Quinn released a joint statement late Wednesday expressing support for the head coach.

Patricia also released the following statement.