OT: Det News uncovers old, dropped sexual assault indictment against Matt Patricia

Submitted by Mr. Elbel on May 10th, 2018 at 7:53 AM
https://www.detroitnews.com/story/sports/nfl/lions/2018/05/09/matt-patr… ..The Lions have since come out in support of Patricia. Very difficult situation where the truth is not know because the trial was dropped as the alleged victim did not want to testify. Alleged assault occurred 22 years ago on a spring break trip in Texas. Will be interesting to see how this plays out but it looks like the Fords are standing behind their man. Let's be nice to everyone in this thread, shall we?



May 10th, 2018 at 8:02 AM ^

What exactly is despicable? Was he found guilty? No. Do you know that the assault actually occurred? No. I don’t know either, so I’m certainly not going to assume and condemn the guy.


May 10th, 2018 at 10:09 AM ^

On the one hand, if it is illegal to ask about it in Massachusetts, it's understandable why it didn't come up then. It's 20 years in the past now, so as long as he's had a clean 20 years it's understandable to let this ride out.

On the other hand, do the Lions really want to stand by a guy with these allegations against him? Say what you will about this coming out *now* but I sure wouldn't want them to. If Patricia hadn't been hired, it would be disqualifying information.


May 10th, 2018 at 11:20 AM ^

I get it, but it’s ridiculous that people can say whatever they want, bring up past charges that were dropped to try and ruin people’s lives, yet there is no accountability for the people causing problems. If your wondering what a society looks like that buys into this garbage.... you are seeing it unfold before our eyes in pretty much all aspects.

MI Expat NY

May 10th, 2018 at 11:13 AM ^

It is absolutely true that in our legal system you are innocent until proven guilty.  But that ONLY applies to taking away the accused's liberty or imparting other criminal sanctions.  It has never been the case that societ has relied on the judicial system to determine if accused individuals had committed heinous acts.  From as far back as Lizzie Borden, society has deemed certain people acquited of crimes, or never charged, guilty, often with good reason.  It is absolutely not a new phenomenon.  

You also have to consider the fact that this is a sexual assault allegation and all the implications that come with it when considering how one should react to the news.  Sexual assualt allegations are extremely difficult to prove given the he said/she said nature of the crime, and the proceedings are extremely taxing on the victim for a number of reasons.  That the alleged victim decided at the last instance not to proceed with trial does not make the two accused men innocent of the charges.  As far as I can tell, despite what the Lions represented, the victim never recanted, the victim's statement led to an arrest, an indictment, and a prosecutor that felt strongly enough about the case to get all the way to the courthouse on the eve of trial.  I can't tell anyone else how to think, but to me that's enough smoke there to suggest fire, and I wouldn't want Patricia being the face of my team.


May 10th, 2018 at 8:04 AM ^

mechanism, the incident doesn't show up on a search engine.  it also is not common to search all 50 states criminal data bases for any given employee.  since it was a short trip to texas, who would think of searching there?   where have you gone on spring break, and did you disclose that to your employer?

no idea of the facts,  but remember joudan lewis who went all the way through trial.  we might do well to keep that in mind also when other schools/teams hit the news for misbehavior.  all that glitters is not gold, and all the sizzle doesn't mean there's steak. 


May 10th, 2018 at 8:24 AM ^

databases?  you have to be in law enforcement and even then it won't show up for the cops if they were never actually fingerprinted.  there are occasional entries that show an arrest - again the feds could see this, not you or me or the lions.  and if you got arrested on spring break and they kicked you out of the jail the next morning and nothing futher happened, what the heck is there to report?   is there any indication here that he was arrested?  if not, an indictment is merely a charge that was dismissed.   

the other important thing is trying not to mix our mutual condemnation for these types of allegations with the automatic: 'he's bad' mixed with some virtue signaling.  


May 10th, 2018 at 9:39 AM ^

The Detroit Lions, an organization worth billions of dollars couldn't find this story, but the Detroit News, a newspaper that is barely hanging on was able to get the scoop. Did you read the article? Of course not. This story made news in South Padre when it happened. There are also public court records of the incident. A news report specificially identifies Patricia in March of 1996. They were indicted three months later. That means the district attorney wanted to prosecute this case and would have had the victim went through with it. Like many victims of rape, the stigma and media attention are too much to handle, not to metion the blatant victim shaming that is commonplace in these types of cases. Innocent until proven guilty. I get that, but 95% of women who report rape are telling the truth. At best, this is a case of pure laziness on the part of the Lions. 


May 10th, 2018 at 10:36 AM ^

The Ford family deserves blame. They have a track record of making bad hires, but the Lions share (pun intended) of this debacle falls on Quinn and the dozens of people who specifically worked on this hire. 

Mike Damone

May 10th, 2018 at 10:48 AM ^

of this.  I was simply referring to the common denominator of 50 years of bad decisions, including but not limited to Russ Thomas, Monte Clark, Darryl Rogers, the Silverdome, Chuck Schmidt, Wayne Fontes, Scott Mitchell, Andre Ware, Joey Harrington, Matt Millen, Marty Mornhiweig, Charles Rodgers, Mike Williams, Rod Marinelli, Martin Mayhew, etc, etc.

Why are we surprised when the Fords do something stupid?  They always manage to screw everything up. 

Sell the Lions please, Martha!!!


May 11th, 2018 at 1:14 AM ^

I’d be very surprised if the Lions did ANY actual searches. Background checks are typically done by an agency. Doubt the Lions logon to the internet and do a search themselves.

Having gone through several myself (and seen the results), it’s not surprising at all that this didn’t surface. The searches are lretty specific. It’s not like you would ask for a search of every municipality in the USA.

The fact that someone can find this on Nexus doesn’t mean anything. That is one of many sources - and not a reliable one. The deeper dive would have been done at specific jurisdictions. And would likely look for CONVICTIONS and not allegations.

I have no idea whether he did or didn’t commit a crime. And I’d have to think long and hard over whether I’d hire him if I knew. But I wouldn’t fire him.

Xtra has a lot more insight into the criminal justice system than most of us. And some of his assertions are eye opening. (But in my book, he has lots of street cred.)

Thank God my background checks didn’t include SE Asia! But you might find me on google using “Bangkok Angry Tourist Lady Boy Beaten”.


May 10th, 2018 at 1:04 PM ^

and many don't have on-line records.  it looks like one search engine did turn this issue up, but many, i would guess the large majority, would not.  so you naturally search in states/places that someone has lived in.  but how would you know to search the other, say, 2990 counties that someone hasn't lived in, especially the ones that don't have on-line records? 


May 10th, 2018 at 2:09 PM ^

True, but when you are hiring a person for a highly visible position and paying them millions of dollars, you perform an overinclusive search or pay someone else to do so. That the information is difficult to find is not a valid excuse. If a reporter was able to find out about it, the Lions should have been able to as well.


May 10th, 2018 at 8:27 AM ^

Everything you say is spot on true. However, Patricia was not applying for a job flipping burgers at a strip club. He was applying for a multi-million dollar, multi-year-contract, very high profile job. You don't background check those folks via Google. You hire a firm that does much more than that, I would hope... 


May 10th, 2018 at 8:06 AM ^

He's done, I'd bet. And since there may be nothing to these charges (apparently, the accuser recanted), that's unfortunate. But that the Lions somehow never found this out - either via sheer negligence, or the fact that Patricia concealed it - I think the only face-saving move for the Lions is to let him go. 

PREEMPTIVE EDIT: This is a statement on what I think will happen, not what I think should happen. Period. 


May 10th, 2018 at 8:15 AM ^

It would be a shame if so.  Do you think the "ban the box" crowd would come out to defend him?  I don't, even though "you're fired because of a potential crime that you were never even tried on let alone found guilty of" would seem to be the epitome of what they're trying to put a stop to.

If Patricia is indeed fired, it would be a really sorry indication of how far we've sunk on this issue - that a single accusation that was never even repeated is enough to destroy careers.

I think Patricia will come through just fine, but in this environment you never know.


May 10th, 2018 at 8:22 AM ^

I have zero insight into the accusations against him, other than what I read last night and this morning. Clearly, he was neither tried nor found guilty. In that sense, he certainly should not be fired. 

The only thing that bothers me is that, apparently, the Lions had absolutely no clue about this situation. I think if this story broke and the Lions had come out and said, "We knew about this, Patricia told us, we investigated further ourselves, and we hired him anway," then that would be the end of it. Some may still be mad, but that would go away over time. But how did the Lions NOT know about this? I know a lot of employers ask a question about being "convicted or charged" with a felony, not just convicted. Did Patricia answer something like that less than truthfully? Or did the Lions simply not ask sufficient background questions to make sure they got their man?

Again, I am not saying it's right, but in this atmosphere the optics reflect very badly on the Lions. My guess - again, my prediction of what will happen, not what should - is that they'll let him go soon. 


May 10th, 2018 at 9:42 AM ^

sued for so much money, it's not financially feasible for them to fire a man that has never been charged with, let alone convicted of anything. This is so stupid. I hope no one ever accuses you of anything, and then changes their mind.


May 10th, 2018 at 10:05 AM ^

I literally wrote this four posts above here: "Clearly, he was neither tried nor found guilty. In that sense, he certainly should not be fired."

From that, you conclude that "you [me] think they should [fire Patricia]." I'm sorry, but you drawing that conclusion from what I wrote directly above where you are replying makes you a dipshit. That's not name-calling, that's just a fact. 


May 10th, 2018 at 10:14 AM ^

opinion they will fire him. I disagree they will. You stated they didn't do there due diligence in finding out this info, and as a result look incompetent and will thus fire him to save face. I stated the reason I don't think they will, and you someone take that as me saying "you think he deserves to be fired"? You are an idiot.


May 10th, 2018 at 9:45 AM ^

can't agree with Faux Mo that they will "probably" part ways, but I think it there is a higher likelihood than most people think.  This is a very bad way for a coach to start their career somewhere.  If he remains here and the team under-performs or even simply does not exceed expectations, the animosity toward him as coach will be swift and intense.  He will be "under a cloud" for his entire tenure.

This was a big hire for the organization, I have to believe that he was asked a question during the interview process to which this incident should have been included in the answer.  If he was asked such a question and was not forthcoming, I tend to think that his contract will be voidable at the Lions option and that he will be let go.  But perhaps the Lions already knew and it was just 20 years ago and never went to trial so it didn't factor into their consideration that much.  I find that hard to believe, though.

The "do we publish" question is interesting as far as the Detroit News goes.  We are talking about an allegation from 20 years ago on a spring break trip that was dismissed by the prosecutor because the alleged victim backed out.  Apparently the prosecutors involved do not even remember the case and all of the police reports have been destroyed.  To my knowledge, that are not any other allegations of any kind of impropriety involving Patricia in the 20 years since with several organizations.  In the current atmosphere, this is a really tough story for Patricia to have come out and I question whether it is newsworthy enough, big picture, to justify running it.


May 10th, 2018 at 8:23 AM ^

How far we’ve sunk on this issue? How many men have been falsely accused and had their lives ruined in the #metoo era? I can’t thjnk of any off the top of my head, but I’m willing to bet it’s a minuscule amount. False rape allegations are very rare and it’s an incredibly underreported crime. Are there some false ones? Yes. Should we try and discourage victims to come forward to prevent false claims? No.


May 10th, 2018 at 8:33 AM ^

Here, you're just wrong. Estimates usually run from single digits to maybe 10%. Very low, all things considered (especially the number of sexual assaults that go entirely unreported). Referencing the Duke Lacrosse Case is classic confirmation bias. "Remember that one very high profile case everyone knows about? Yeah, it happens all the time." 


May 10th, 2018 at 8:55 AM ^

didn't say anything because they were afraid or traumatized to the point where charges had to be dropped and criminals walked away claiming innocence?  An overcorrection towards the victims seems understandable - I'm not saying justifiable just understandable.

Human Torpedo

May 10th, 2018 at 3:12 PM ^

There's a razor thin gray area based on the perspective of woman. A lot of men could commit sexual misconduct in the workplace without even knowing so or intending to do so. Sometimes men are willing to test the waters of their boundaries by doing small things women might be okay with like wrapping your arm around an intern's shoulders while helping her on the workplace computer 

Another issue is with the impaired judgment statute on rape where a woman could show no signs of being drunk and she'll give consent and then regret the decision later. Thus, opening up the Pandora's Box of legal issues

I'm not going to make judgment call on whether a significant number of accusers are lying. But overall, I do know that even with all the hype our country's rape culture gets, frankly it's much safer today in America for women than it is in current hellhole European countries like Sweden


May 10th, 2018 at 8:33 AM ^

Less than 10% are deemed false. Might be even less than 5%. Obviously there are some, but it’s not the massive problem that people wary of #metoo make it out to be. In comparison to the number of unreported rapes, it’s a very small number. Most rape accusations don’t even make it to court for various reasons (victim not wanting to relive the incident over and over again, lack of evidence as it’s a hard crime to prove unless it’s approrpriately investigated right away etc). Just think it’s interesting that many men’s response to the empowerment of women is “hey let’s slow down, what if some are false?” As if false rape claims usually don’t come to anything


May 10th, 2018 at 8:45 AM ^

and who deemed them true (or false)?  are you in the business?  do i think that unfortunately the vast majority are true?  yeah, i do.  have i seen truckloads of false allegations - you bet.   in fact a woman was just convicted for a second time in our little area of filing false rape allegations.  and i've walked guys out of courtrooms on multiple occasions facing same or similar allegations.  they weren't just 'not guilty', they were innocent.   

would any one of us be concerned if this patricia stuff was revealed about someone?  of course.  my only comment is before condemnation (and virtue signaling) have a foundation to make the accusation of such serious conduct. 


May 10th, 2018 at 8:53 AM ^

No need to argue, but I am not "virtue signalling," just stating what I have read and know. Just found an amazing statistic online though - since 1989, when record-keeping began, there are only 52 cases of men being found guilty of rape and later exonerated. Over that same period, 790 people were exonerated after being convicted of murder. I think that's pretty telling, in terms of the incidence of false rape allegations.