Patriots

Antonio Brown accused of sexual assault, rape in federal lawsuit

Antonio Brown accused of sexual assault, rape in federal lawsuit

Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown has been accused of three separate incidents of sexual assault and rape, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court on Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida. The incidents allegedly occurred in 2017 and 2018.

Here are the details, per the New York Times.

"The lawsuit says that Brown — in three separate incidents, two in June 2017 and another in May 2018 — sexually assaulted a woman named Britney Taylor, a gymnast whom he met while they were attending Central Michigan together and whom he later hired as a trainer.

According to the lawsuit, Brown sexually assaulted Taylor twice during training sessions in June 2017. First, he exposed himself and kissed her without her permission, the lawsuit says. Later that month, the lawsuit says, while she was watching a television program at his home, Brown started masturbating behind her and ejaculated on her back. Brown bragged about the incident in profane text messages that are copied in the lawsuit. 

Taylor ended her working relationship with Brown, the lawsuit says, but several months later, when he contacted her to apologize, she relented. She was, according to the lawsuit, “swayed by his assurance that he would cease any sexual advances.” 

Taylor's statement, per her lawyer, reads as follows:

“As a rape victim of Antonio Brown, deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision.  I have found strength in my faith, my family, and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault.  Speaking out removes the shame that I have felt for the past year and places it on the person responsible for my rape. I will cooperate with the NFL and any other agencies; however, at this time, I respectfully request that the media please respect my privacy.”

Brown's legal team responded to the accusation with a statement of their own:

Brown intends to countersue Taylor for civil extortion, according to ESPN's Josina Anderson. Brown's lawyer, Darren Heitner, states the 31-year-old will "leave no stone unturned" in defending himself from the allegations.

Here's what NBC Sports Boston's "Boston Sports Tonight" crew had to say about the news:

The Patriots officially signed Brown to a one-year deal with an option for 2020 on Monday.

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Patriots downgrade S Patrick Chung, RB Damien Harris to out for Eagles game

Patriots downgrade S Patrick Chung, RB Damien Harris to out for Eagles game

The Patriots have downgraded safety Patrick Chung and running back Damien Harris from questionable to out for the game Sunday against the Eagles in Philadelphia.

Chung has had heel and chest injuries but did play in the Pats' last game before their bye week, the Nov. 3 loss to the Ravens. Harris appeared on the injury report for the first time on Friday with a hamstring issue. The rookie third-round pick from Alabama has only been active for two games this season.

The loss of Chung could impact the Patriots most in their coverage of Eagles tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. Taking on tight ends is something Chung has excelled at. 

ESPN Mike Reiss reports that Patriots tight end Matt LaCosse, out with a knee injury since Oct. 10, did travel with the team to Philly so he will likely be active for the game.

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Ten years ago today, on fourth-and-2, Bill Belichick made one of his most controversial decisions

Ten years ago today, on fourth-and-2, Bill Belichick made one of his most controversial decisions

It was one of the most controversial calls in Patriots history...and it didn't come from an official.

It was Bill Belichick's decision to go for it on fourth-and-2 in the final minutes against the Indianapolis Colts. And it was 10 years ago today.

THE DECISION

It remains Belichick's most talked-about moves this side of Malcolm Butler. In a Week 10 matchup in Indianapolis, the 8-0 Colts faced the 6-2 Patriots in a high-scoring affair. Leading 34-28 but backed up at their own 28-yard-line and needing two yards for a first down, Belichick chose to go for it on fourth down and try and keep the ball out of quarterback Peyton Manning's hands.

THE PLAY

Tom Brady completed a pass to running back Kevin Faulk, who was driven backward by the Colts' Melvin Bullitt. After a measurement, Faulk was ruled short of the first down. Three Colts plays later, a Manning-to-Reggie Wayne TD pass and extra point with 13 seconds left a 35-34 victory.

THE AFTERMATH

There was plenty of second-guessing of Belichick's move. Had he outsmarted himself? Why didn't he punt and show more faith in his defense? 

“We thought we could win the game with that play,” he explained at the time. “That was a yard I was confident we could get.” Belichick had maintained it was more like fourth-and-long-1, rather than 2. Where the ball was spotted after the Faulk play is still the subject of debate.

Those Pats would go on to lose two of their next three, finish 10-6, still win the AFC East but get smoked by the Baltimore Ravens 33-14 in Foxboro in a wild-card playoff game. Manning's team won its first 14 games, then rested its regulars and lost twice before reaching its first Super Bowl as the Indy Colts and losing to the New Orleans Saints. 

TODAY

When Indianapolis reporter Kevin Bowen tweeted about the play's 10th anniversary on Saturday, it stirred up memories for former Colts linebacker Gary Brackens, who recalled the disrespect he felt from Belichick's decision to test the Indy defense. 

To this day, "Fourth-and-2" means only one thing to most NFL fans.

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