FOXBORO (CBS) – New Patriots receiver Antonio Brown took refuge on the practice field at Gillette Stadium Wednesday, not long after his new coach declined to expand on the accusations against the receiver.
“They are what they are,” Coach Bill Belichick said. “We’ve looked into the situation, we’re taking it very seriously.”
Brown’s accuser is his college bible-study partner and former personal trainer, whose 15-page civil lawsuit says he raped and sexually assaulted her three times during 2017 and 2018.
Brown’s agent calls it a “money grab” because Brown refused to invest in her fledgling gym business.
“Is it really an assault, or is it consensual, and that’s the problem,” said WBZ legal analyst Jennifer Roman.
Roman says when forensic evidence is lacking, credibility can be key. The accuser admits she willingly resumed contact with Brown twice after he supposedly assaulted her.
“She does provide some detail which suggests that she has some credibility that these incidents occurred in the way she’s reporting them, but we have to remember we are only hearing one side of it right now,” Roman said.
Brown’s attorney said any sexual interaction between the two was entirely consensual.
Roman who says it is clear a majority of Brown’s defense will be the alleged victim is trying to extort him, says as she sees it now, the text messages will be a vital part of the case especially if it goes to trial.
“He uses such foul and derogatory language throughout it, it really doesn’t paint a sympathetic picture of Antonio Brown,” Roman said.
NFL officials met Wednesday with a timetable for speaking to Brown’s accuser still uncertain. Several sources say the league could temporarily put him on the commissioner’s exempt list, effectively banning him from games and practices with pay.
“I don’t think we’re going to see any quick resolution of this,” Roman said.
Brown was signed by the Patriots over the weekend and the lawsuit was first reported Tuesday night.
Belichick did not have a definitive answer about the receiver potentially playing Sunday against the Dolphins.
“We’re taking it one day at a time, just like we always do,” Belichick said.