Bill Belichick Didn't Know About Patricia's Rape Case ... Supports Lions Coach

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"The New England Patriots were not aware of the matter which recently came to light", Belichick's statement reads, via ESPN's Mike Reiss. After a lengthy search, the Lions hired former Patriots Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia to replace Jim Caldwell as their head coach. "In my opinion, it was a fabrication", said one of Patricia's defense lawyers, Jeff Wilson. He had risen to the position of defensive coordinator when this picture was taken in a game against the Denver Broncos on December 18, 2016.

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". Patricia's accuser did not testify, and the charge was later dismissed.

"I find it unfair and upsetting that someone would bring this claim up over two decades later for the sole objective of hurting my family, my friends and (the Lions') organization with the intention of trying to damage my character and credibility", Patricia said during a news conference.

Ford, the 92-year-old billionaire who was honored by the Detroit Police Department two years ago for her commitment to stopping domestic violence, led the quartet into the Lions' interview room Thursday, where about four dozen reporters and team officials waited.

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On Wednesday, Patricia maintained he was innocent of any wrongdoing.

In the press conference, streamed on the Detroit Lions' official website, the 43-year-old says he and the teammate, Greg Dietrich, were indicted for the sexual assault of a woman on South Padre Island, Texas.

"I've interviewed for a lot of jobs", Patricia said. "I am 100 percent the head coach of the Detroit Lions", Patricia said. "I will tell you with 1,000% 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", he said. The Lions are in Phase II of their offseason training program, and the team will hold a rookie minicamp in Allen Park this weekend. "I asked them to take this opportunity again to one more time focus on the fact that in this time we need to be sensitive and responsible".

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