Photo: Larry Busacca (Getty)

Before recently being hired by the Detroit Lions as their head coach, Matt Patricia spent 14 seasons coaching the New England Patriots. The team brought Patricia into the NFL’s coaching ranks back in 2004, and he worked his way up from an offensive assistant to defensive coordinator. In response to questions from reporters about Patricia’s indictment for sexual assault back in 1996, team spokesman Stacey James sent this statement:

Statement from Bill Belichick regarding Matt Patricia:

“The New England Patriots were not aware of the matter which recently came to light. 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.”

Nexis, the commonly used database that will pull up Patricia’s indictment in less than a minute, was available and included public records by 2004.