Article

Patriots taking Brown rape allegation ´very seriously´ as NFL investigates

September 11 2019 6:02 PM

The New England Patriots are taking allegations of rape and sexual assault made against Antonio Brown "very seriously" amid an NFL investigation.

Brown's former trainer, Britney Taylor, alleged the wide receiver sexually assaulted her twice in June 2017.

A civil lawsuit was filed on Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida, also including the allegation that Brown "forcibly raped" Taylor in May last year.

Brown's lawyer, Darren Heitner, said the former Pittsburgh Steelers star denies all the allegations made against him.

The Patriots released a statement regarding the claims made against their new signing.

"We are aware of the civil lawsuit that was filed earlier today against Antonio Brown, as well as the response by Antonio's representatives." a Patriots statement said.

"We take these allegations very seriously. Under no circumstance does this organisation condone sexual violence or assault. The league has informed us that they will be investigating. We will have no further comment while that investigation takes place."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said during a press conference that he could not offer any further comment on the situation.

"I'm not going to be expanding on the statements that have already been given," Belichick said, repeating, "When we know more we’ll say more."

Asked about Brown's status for Week two, Belichick could not commit to the veteran playing against the Miami Dolphins but did say the team expected him at practice on Wednesday.

He added: "We're taking it one day at a time ... like we always do. I appreciate all the questions, but what's been said has been said."

Heitner earlier stated: "Antonio Brown learned today that he has been named in a lawsuit filed in federal court in the Southern District of Florida. Mr Brown denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit,

"He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations."

In a statement released by her lawyer to the New York Times, Taylor said that "deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision".

She added: "I have found strength in my faith, my family, and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault."

Brown joined the Patriots earlier this week after being released by the Oakland Raiders following a tumultuous offseason.

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