Patricia addressed his team Thursday and told them he was focused on football, denied the allegations of assault and encouraged players and coaches to "be sensitive and responsible, use this as a learning moment for them".
Patricia, who was hired away as the defensive coordinator of the Patriots, claims he was falsely accused of the charges that led to an indictment on one count of aggravated sexual assault for an alleged incident involving a 21-year-old woman on South Padre Island (Texas) in 1996. "The case was dismissed and I'm innocent".
In some ways, the Lions are taking the bigger leap of faith now - in Patricia and Quinn - doubling down by admitting they didn't know about the incident, and aren't concerned they didn't know.
In the meantime, Patricia is maintaining his innocence. "I was innocent then and I'm innocent now". Wood said the Lions had not employed that firm for their background check. "I was falsely accused of something that I did not do".
"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 goal being to damage my character and reputation", Patricia said in a statement issued late Wednesday by the team. Wood declined to answer other questions about Patricia and the allegations on Saturday other than the background search and search process.
Despite the team's diligence, a 1996 sexual assault case involving Patricia wasn't discovered. It would be unfair for me to comment on that but Bill made a statement.
According to court documents obtained by the Detroit Free Press, the witness list included a nurse, doctor, police detective, police officer and college friend of the alleged victim.
"I've interviewed for a lot of jobs", Patricia said.
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.
"For 14 years in our organization, Matt conducted himself with great integrity and is known to be an outstanding coach, person and family man", Belichick said in a statement. He's always been a guy we've enjoyed working with.