Antonio Brown Practices With Patriots Despite Rape Accusation in Lawsuit

Wide receiver Antonio Brown practiced with the Patriots on Wednesday amid being accused of raping his former trainer in a federal lawsuit on Tuesday.

Brown, who signed with New England on Sept. 7 after being released by the Raiders, wore No. 1 at the practice.

"Both Antonio (Brown) and his representative have made statements," Belichick told the media at the Patriots' facility on Wednesday. "We've looked into the situation, we're taking it very seriously."

Belichick did not commit to whether Brown will play against the Dolphins in Week 2 on Sunday. New England's head coach said they are managing the Brown situation, "one day at a time," per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Brown's former trainer Britney Taylor accused Brown of three incidents of assault dating back to 2017, culminating with the alleged rape in May 2018. Taylor's suit claims Brown sexually assaulted Taylor twice in 2017, first exposing himself and kissing her without consent, then masturbating and ejaculating onto her back.

The lawsuit also claims that Brown, "forced [Taylor] down onto a bed, pushed her face into the mattress, and forcibly raped her," in May 2018. Taylor allegedly attempted to resist Brown multiple times, but the wide receiver allegedly refused.

"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," Taylor said in a statement released by her lawyer on Tuesday. "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 attorney Darren Heitner denied the allegations in a statement on Tuesday. Heitner wrote that Brown intends to "aggressively defend himself," and countersue Taylor.

The Patriots advanced to 1–0 in 2019 with a win over the Steelers in Week 1.

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