Lions Head Coach Indicted, Not Tried In Sexual Assault Case In 1996

Mike Brest | Reporter

Detroit Lions head coach, Matt Patricia, and another person, were indicted but not tried for aggravated sexual assault back in August of 1996.

The alleged assault happened when he, 21, and Greg Dietrich, 22, were football players and Theta Chi fraternity brothers at Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York on South Padre Island during spring break in 1996. That’s when they met a 21-year old girl who was also on spring break.


Remaining anonymous, the woman, told police that two men burst into her hotel room while she was sleeping and took turns violently sexually assaulting her, according to the Detroit News.

Months later, a grand jury indicted the two of them on one count of aggravated sexual assault, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, according to a Texas statute.

Both Patricia and the Lions front office have released statements repudiating the act. In his statement, Patricia vehemently denied the allegations, saying, “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.”

The team also shared their support for their first year head coach. The front office’s press release said, “Based upon everything we have learned, we believe and have accepted Coach Patricia’s explanation and we will continue to support him.

Back in 1996, the charges were not tried because there was a note in the motion to dismiss the charges that read, “Victim does not feel she can face the pressures or stress of a trial.”

Patricia spent the last fourteen years as a Patriots coach, including the most recent six as the team’s defensive coordinator. After New England lost in the Super Bowl, he was hired as the head coach of the Lions.

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