Bill Belichick stands by his former assistant.
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick issued a statement backing former assistant coach and Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia after a 1996 sexual assault allegation resurfaced on Wednesday night.
The Detroit News reported that Patricia and a friend were indicted by a Texas grand jury for one count of aggravated sexual assault of a woman on South Padre Island. The accuser did not testify and the case was dismissed 10 months later.
The Lions said they were not aware of the allegation when interviewing and hiring Patricia. Patricia held a press conference on Thursday morning and maintained his innocence. The Lions are standing by Patricia as the team’s new head coach.
“The New England Patriots were not aware of the matter which recently came to light,” Belichick said in a statement. “For 14 yars in our organization, Matt conducted himself with great integrity and is known to be an outstanding coach, person 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.”