Image: Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn, from left, head coach Matt Patricia, owner Martha Ford and president Rod Wood appear together at Patricia's introductory press conference in February. Photo by Daniel Mears, The Detroit News

Matt Patricia indicted for aggravated sexual assault during Spring Break at SPI, Lions never knew

By Bryan Ramos

I

f you’ve ever been to South Padre Island for Spring Break, you know the type of scumbaggery that goes on. Hell, even if you haven’t been there during Spring Break, I’m sure you’re aware.

A new head coach’s alleged spring break scumbaggery has come to light and has him in hot water after reports resurfaced Wednesday night alleging Matt Patricia, the Detroit Lions’ new hire, was indicted in 1996 for aggravated sexual assault that occurred on South Padre Island during Texas Week.

Report from DetroitNews.com:

“The assault case dates to Patricia’s time at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, where the 5-foot-11, 227-pound offensive lineman played center and guard. Dietrich was a team captain and president of the Theta Chi fraternity.
The men were in South Padre Island during Texas Week, an annual celebration that lured more than 100,000 people to the Gulf Coast island just north of the Mexican border.
“We referred to Texas Week as the week from hell,” said E.E. Eunice, South Padre Island’s police chief at the time. He does not remember Patricia or the alleged assault.

Five days after the alleged attack, Eunice was quoted in a March 20 newspaper article carried in the Brownsville Herald and at least one other newspaper.

“She told us she had palled around with them for a few days,” Eunice told the newspaper at the time.

At approximately 6 p.m. on Friday, March 15, the men arrived at a room at the Radisson hotel where the woman was sleeping, the newspaper reported.

Patricia and Dietrich “burst into” the room and awoke the woman before taking turns sexually assaulting her, according to the newspaper.
Not true, Patricia’s lawyer said.
“His alibi is this was a false accusation,” Wilson said. “He didn’t do anything.”
The accuser identified Patricia and Dietrich, who were arrested later that night and released on $20,000 bond, according to the story and court records.

Many details of the alleged attack are unclear. The police report was discarded, and several figures involved said they could not recall the case — not the police chief, lieutenant, grand jury forewoman, prosecutor, assistant prosecutor or defense attorneys.

Court records show the victim would not testify in court, leading to the cases dismissal.

“Victim does not feel she can face the pressures or stress of a trial,” reads a hand-written note above the signature of Cameron County Assistant District Attorney Jacqueline Reynolds-Church in the Jan. 28, 1997, motion to dismiss the case.”

And somehow, the Lions never knew. When approached by The Detroit News, team president Rod Wood initially said “I don’t know anything about this” — but hours later said his review of the situation only reinforced the team’s decision to hire Patricia.

The Lions’ new hire released a statement denying the allegations:

Image: Statement from Matt Patricia

Patricia spent years as the defensive coordinator of the New England Patriots and was hired by the Detroit Lions after the Patriots’ Super Bowl loss in February.

 

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