DETROIT – Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia addressed the media amid reports of a 1996 sexual assault case where he faced felony charges.
Patricia and the Lions released a statement on Wednesday night. He called the report unfair.
"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 purpose being to damage my character and reputation. I firmly maintain my innocence, as I have always done."
On Thursday, speaking to the media, Patricia echoed many of the same thoughts.
"I'm hear today to defend my honor and to clear my name," Patricia stated. He continued, saying he was falsely accused and never had the opportunity to clear his name.
“There were claims made about me that never happened," Patricia said.
"I did nothing wrong - and that's all I'm going to say on that matter," Patricia said when asked about the events of the night of the incident. "I was innocent then, and I'm innocent now."
Patricia also said he answered everything truthfully with the Lions during the interview stages, but did note the report didn't come up during the process.
Patricia is entering his first year as the head coach of the Detroit Lions. He previously spent several years as an assistant coach with the New England Patriots.