Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia addressed his 1996 sexual assault indictment with reporters Thursday, saying “the truth is on my side.”
“I’m here to defend my honor and clear my name.custom nfl jerseys cheap I was falsely accused and never given the opportunity to clear my name,” Patricia told reporters at Lions minicamp.
“Thankfully, the truth is on my side,” he added. “I find it upsetting that someone would bring up this claim two decades later with the intent of trying to damage my credibility.”
Robert Snell of the Detroit News revealed details of the 1996 case, which saw the then-21-year-old Patricia charged with a “violent” sexual assault of an unnamed woman. The then-21-year-old college student said Patricia and another man barged into her hotel room and took turns assaulting her when they were on spring break at South Padre Island, Texas.
Police indicted Patricia and Greg Dietrich on charges of sexual assault. However, neither was convicted after the woman stopped cooperating with investigators.
“I was innocent then, and I am innocent now. I was falsely accused of something I did not do,” Patricia said. customized nfl jerseys cheap
Patricia never disclosed the incident to any of his NFL employers. He spent the last 14 seasons as an assistant coach with the New England Patriots, including the last six as their defensive coordinator. The Lions hired him to replace Jim Caldwell as their head coach in February.
Patricia told reporters he didn’t discuss the matter because it never came up in interviews.
Lions ownership released a statement of support for Patricia earlier Thursday.
“Responding to a published report this evening from the Detroit News, The Detroit Lions are aware that a criminal charge involving sexual assault was brought against Matt Patricia in 1996. Matt was 21 at the time and on spring break in Texas.custom nfl jerseys The charge was dismissed by the prosecutor at the request of the complaining individual prior to trial. As a result, Coach Patricia never had the opportunity to present his case or clear his name publicly in a court of law. He has denied that there was any factual basis for the charge. There was no settlement agreement with the complaining individual, no money exchanged hands and there was no confidentiality agreement. In discussions today with Lions management, the reporter involved acknowledged that the allegations have not been substantiated.customized nfl jerseys