Bill Belichick defends Matt Patricia amid sexual assault indictment

Jim Davis | The Boston Globe

It was reported on Wednesday night by The Detroit News that newly appointed Lions’ head coach, Matt Patricia, was indicted by a grand jury on one count of aggravated sexual assault in 1996. Patricia was neither tried nor convicted.

Despite all of this resurfacing drama, Patricia has full support of his former and current teams. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick released his own statement on Thursday, backing Patricia’s integrity.

“The New England Patriots were not aware of the matter which recently came to light,” Belichick said. “For 14 years in our organization, Matt conducted himself with great integrity and is known to be an outstanding coach, person and family man. We have always been confident in Matt’s character and recommended him highly to become the head coach of the Detroit Lions.”

Patricia’s time with the Patriots stems all the way back to 2004, when he joined the organization as an offensive assistant. Throughout his time in New England, he developed himself as a very talented and intelligent coach.

Both the Patriots and the Lions claim they were unaware of the incident, but fully support and stand by him. Lions owner Martha Ford, general manager Bob Quinn and team president Rod Wood wrote “we believe and have accepted Coach Patricia’s explanation and we will continue to support him.”

Follow Megan on Twitter: @carnahanmegan