Matt Patricia on sexual assault allegations: "I was innocent then, and I am innocent now."
Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia addressed a Detroit News story that revealed that he had been indicted in 1996 for an alleged sexual assault.
During a press conference at team headquarters on Thursday, Patricia repeatedly stated that he did nothing wrong and said that the incident never came up in the interview process with the Lions. He assured that he is 100% the coach of the Lions.
"I was innocent then and I am innocent now," Patricia said. "There was never any situation in the Lions interview where I did not disclose the truth."
Here's the transcrapt of his prepared statement.
According to the Detroit News story, Patricia was charged in August 1996 with aggravated sexual assault, but he was never prosecuted for it and the case was dismissed five months later in January 1997.
"I was falsely accused of something I did not do," Patricia said on Thursday. "There are claims made about me that never happened."
Team president Ron Wood told The Detroit News that he knew nothing about the allegations, but fully supports Patricia.
"I will tell you with 1,000-percent certainty that everything I’ve learned confirmed what I already knew about the man and would have no way changed our decision to make him our head coach." Wood said.
The NFL said they will look into the matter.
“We will review the matter with the club to understand the allegations and what the club has learned," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.