Report: Lions' Patricia had assault charge in '96
Detroit Lions president Rod Wood said he was unaware that Matt Patricia was indicted 22 years ago for an alleged sexual assault, but Wood said the team had no regrets about hiring Patricia as its head coach, the Detroit News reported.
Patricia was a 21-year-old student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and on spring break in South Padre Island, Texas, when the alleged assault occurred. Charges were filed in the case and Patricia and his friend, Greg Dietrich, were indicted by a grand jury of one count of aggravated sexual assault, but they were never tried in the case.
Wood told the News that he and Lions general manager Bob Quinn were not aware of the allegation in Patricia’s past when they hired him. He later told the newspaper he was “comfortable” with Patricia on staff.
“I am very comfortable with the process of interviewing and employing Matt,” Wood told the News. “I will tell you with 1,000 percent certainty that everything I’ve learned confirmed what I already knew about the man and would have no way changed our decision to make him our head coach.”
The News also reported that APG Security, a private investigation firm with a corporate headquarters in South Amboy, New Jersey, and offices in 21 states including Texas, had requested the court files for Patricia’s case in January. It is not clear whether the Lions had contracted the firm to run a background check on Patricia or if it was someone else.
The News reported the case against Patricia and Dietrich fell apart when the alleged victim did not respond to attempts to contact her in the weeks following the incident and decided she would not testify.
As of Wednesday night, the 43-year-old Patricia was scheduled to talk with the media Thursday before the team opens its rookie minicamp this weekend.