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Bill Belichick throws support behind Matt Patricia

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 11: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and offensive coordinator Matt Patricia talk prior to their game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on December 11, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

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New England coach Bill Belichick released a statement Thursday. He offered his support to Matt Patricia and said the Patriots were unaware of Patricia’s indictment from 1996 on a charge of aggravated sexual assault.

The case was dismissed in January 1997, because the alleged victim did “not feel she can face the pressures or stress of a trial,” and Patricia professed his innocence in a press conference earlier Thursday.

“The New England Patriots were not aware of the matter which recently came to light,” Belichick said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “For 14 years in our organization, Matt conducted himself with great integrity and is known to be an outstanding coach, person and family man. We have always been confident in Matt’s character and recommended him highly to become the head coach of the Detroit Lions.”