BOSTON (CBS) – The Allegheny County District Attorney’s office in Pennsylvania is now looking into allegations of rape included in a civil lawsuit against Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown.

Pittsburgh station KDKA reports District Attorney Stephen Zappala made the announcement Wednesday afternoon.

“When something’s filed, and alleges a crime was committed, we take a look at it,” Zappala said.

The district attorney’s office released a statement, saying:

“There is nothing extraordinary about doing that. This office, as a matter of course, will review information in a federal lawsuit whenever that information references potential criminal activity, even if that activity had not been previously known to law enforcement. Another example of this would be a federal civil rights lawsuit filed against a police officer or department alleging behavior on the part of the officer or the department that was not previously known.”

Britney Taylor, Brown’s former trainer, said in the lawsuit filed in the Southern District of Florida that the former Pittsburgh Steeler and Oakland Raider sexually assaulted her on three occasions. One of the alleged incidents took place in Pittsburgh.

“As a rape victim of Antonio Brown, deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision,” Taylor said in a statement on Tuesday. “I have found strength in my faith, my family, and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault. Speaking out removes the shame that I have felt for the past year and places it on the person responsible for my rape.”

Brown denied the allegations Tuesday night through a statement put out by his attorney.

In a statement to WBZ, the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office said, “Neither Northern Regional Police Department nor our office was ever contacted about the 2017 event that is contained in the federal lawsuit.” The office was notified about a possible child endangerment situation involving Brown. “The result of that conversation was a decision that we could not move forward with investigating that claim,” Zappala’s office said in a statement.

Antonio Brown practiced with the Patriots Wednesday afternoon. (WBZ-TV)

Brown suited up at Patriots practice on Wednesday for the first time since he was signed on Saturday.

Before practice began, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had a tense press conference with reporters.

“On the Antonio situation, he and his representatives made statements and I’m not going to be expanding on those. They are what they are,” said Belichick. “We’re looking into the situation and we are taking it very seriously, all the way through the organization. I’m sure there will be questions about that, but there won’t be any discussions about that.”

Belichick declined to answer multiple follow-up questions before exiting the room.

A spokesman for the NFL declined comment, but the Patriots late Tuesday night said the league told the team it will launch an investigation.

“We are aware of the civil lawsuit that was filed earlier today against Antonio Brown, as well as the response by Antonio’s representatives,” the Patriots said in a statement. “We take these allegations very seriously. Under no circumstance does this organization condone sexual violence or assault. The league has informed us that they will be investigating. We will have no further comment while that investigation takes place.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story stated that the District Attorney’s office was not investigating the rape allegations again Brown. That was based on information provided by prosecutors at the time.


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