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The indictment was brought by the grand jury, but Patricia never stood trial, and the case was dismissed in January 1997, when the woman who made the accusation declined to testify. The Lions said they were standing by Patricia. "I was innocent then and I'm innocent now".

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) looks downfield as he scrambles during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Detroit, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013.

According to a 1996 article by the Brownsville (Texas) Herald, the alleged victim was a 21-year-old IN college student on spring break who had befriended the football players on the beach.

The point is this; while most Lions fans and the organization want to believe Patricia is innocent and move on, it was nonetheless a serious allegation which should not be taken lightly.

"I was falsely accused of something I did not do".

Now, I'm not saying that Matt Patricia is guilty.

"I've interviewed for a lot of jobs", Patricia said.

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In the meantime, Patricia is maintaining his innocence.

Asked if he had had consensual sex with the accuser, he replied: "I did nothing wrong and that's all I'm going to say on the matter".

Oh, and by the way, Bill Belichick released a statement defending Matt Patricia on this allegation.

The Lions said Wednesday night that a pre-employment background check did not turn up the incident. "It's obviously unfortunate for anybody to go through what's happening, but I'm not really educated on the whole topic right now".

Team owner Martha Firestone Ford, general manager Bob Quinn, and team president Rod Wood said they had no reason to doubt Patricia.

"As someone who was falsely accused of this very serious charge over 22 years ago, and never given the opportunity to defend myself and clear my name, I find it incredibly unfair, disappointing, and frustrating that this story would resurface now with the only objective being to damage my character and reputation". Matt Patricia was 21-years-old at the time, and on spring break with his college friends. Patricia's previous employer, the New England Patriots, didn't know either. "But I'm not sure what specific changes, if any, we would make based on this. We have always been confident in Matt's character and recommended him highly to become the head coach of the Detroit Lions".


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