Antonio Brown accused of raping former trainer; Allegheny County DA to look into allegations

NEW YORK — A federal lawsuit filed in south Florida accuses New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown of rape.

According to the New York Times, Brown is accused of raping his former trainer.

The lawsuit says Brown sexually assaulted and forced himself on a woman he met while they were attending Central Michigan together and whom he later hired as a trainer. The New York Times reports the incidents happened on three occasions in 2017 and 2018.

In a statement, the victim said she would cooperate with an NFL investigation into the matter.

Brown's accuser released a statement saying, "speaking out removes the shame that I have felt for the past year, and places it on the person responsible for my rape."

Brown's attorney also released a statement saying his client denies each and every allegation. The statement went on to say Brown would pursue all legal remedies to clear his name.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala told Channel 11's Rick Earle his office will look into the sexual assault allegations leveled against Brown. He released the

Zappala released the following statement regarding them reviewing the lawsuit:

There is nothing extraordinary about doing that.  This office, as a matter of course, will review information in a federal lawsuit whenever that information references potential criminal activity, even if that activity had not been previously known to law enforcement.  Another example of this would be a federal civil rights lawsuit filed against a police officer or department alleging behavior on the part of the officer or the department that was not previously known.

The Patriots, which just signed Brown over the weekend after he was released by the Oakland Raiders, released this statement:

"We are aware of the civil lawsuit that was filed earlier today against Antonio Brown, as well as the response by Antonio's representatives. We take these allegations very seriously. Under no circumstance does this organization 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."

A spokesperson for the Steelers, which traded Brown to the Raiders in March, released the following statement Wednesday:

"The Steelers organization did not have any knowledge of the alleged incidents involving Antonio Brown prior to yesterday. If requested, the Steelers organization will cooperate in any related investigation."

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the National Football League will consider placing him on paid leave, while making him ineligible to play.

The article goes on to say he would be placed on the commissioner's exempt list and that it's unclear when the decision will be made or if it would be before next week's game.