By NOAH TRISTER, AP Sports Writer


ALLEN PARK, Mich. (CBS/AP) — Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia says he was “falsely accused” in a 1996 sexual assault allegation that resurfaced this week.

Patricia held a brief news conference Thursday, a day after a Detroit News report that he and a friend were indicted 22 years ago by a Texas grand jury, on one count each of aggravated sexual assault for an alleged incident involving a woman on South Padre Island. The accuser did not testify and the case was dismissed.

Matt Patricia on February 8, 2018 in Allen Park, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Lions said Wednesday night that a pre-employment background check did not turn up the incident. The team said it was standing by Patricia, who is a former defensive coordinator with the New England Patriots.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick released a statement Thursday, supporting his former assistant coach and saying Patricia “is known to be an outstanding coach, person and family man.”

Owner Martha Firestone Ford, general manager Bob Quinn and president Rod Wood were at Thursday’s news conference but did not speak.

An NFL spokesman says the league will review the matter with the team.
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(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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