The NFL will investigate sexual assault allegations made against new Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia when he was a college student, CNN reported.
The league said in a statement Thursday that it would be conducting a review of the case along with the Lions organization to get a better understanding of the incident.
“We will review the matter with the club to understand the allegations and what the club has learned,” an NFL spokesman told CNN ‘s Jill Martin.
The 43-year-old former New England Patriots defensive coordinator and his friend, Greg Dietrich, were indicted on one count of aggravated sexual assault but never charged in the incident, which occurred on South Padre Island, Texas, during spring break in 1996. Patricia was reportedly a student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at the time.
The indictment never went to trial, and the case was dismissed in January 1997 after the woman who made the accusation was unable to testify, saying she did not feel that she could face the pressures or stress of a trial. Patricia allegedly had sexual intercourse with the woman without her consent, and he and Dietrich reportedly physically forced the woman into the act.
In a press conference Thursday, Patricia denied any wrongdoing.
“I was innocent then, and I am innocent now,” he said. “Let me be clear. My priorities remain the same, to move forward and strive to be the best coach, teacher and man that I can possibly be. I was accused of something that I did not do. I went through the process and the case was dismissed.”