New England Patriots receiver Antonio Brown will not face criminal charges stemming from an alleged 2017 sexual assault of a former trainer in Pennsylvania that the accuser has described in a pending Florida lawsuit, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Allegheny County, Pa., District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.’s office confirmed the development in a brief statement. The news was first reported by ESPN.
“Our office, along with the Allegheny County Police Department, made contact with counsel for the plaintiff in the federal lawsuit involving Antonio Brown,” the statement said. “Procedurally, it appears there is a statute of limitations issue in moving forward with any inquiry involving the Allegheny County allegation mentioned in the lawsuit.”
Brown’s lawyer declined to comment.
The federal lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of Florida, alleges Brown sexually assaulted Britney Taylor, a gymnast he met while they were both attending Central Michigan University. Brown later hired Taylor as a trainer.
In her lawsuit, Taylor alleges Brown sexually assaulted her twice during training sessions in June 2017.
Taylor says Brown first assaulted her in 2017 at his Pittsburgh-area home, the incident referenced Wednesday in the statement from Zappala’s office. Taylor accused Brown of sexually molesting her again in 2017 and raping her in 2018, both times at his Florida residence.
The alleged assault in Pennsylvania, in which Taylor says Brown exposed himself to her and later grabbed and kissed her without consent, occurred in June 2017. The statute of limitations for an indecent assault of an adult in Pennsylvania is two years, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, a victim advocacy group.
That suggests the clock would’ve run out in June of this year on the Pennsylvania incident described in Taylor’s lawsuit.
Brown has denied all the allegations in Taylor’s lawsuit through his attorney, Darren Heitner, who’s accused Taylor of suing Brown after he rejected her request to invest $1.6 million in a business project.
The NFL completed the first step of its investigation into Taylor’s allegations Monday, with league officials meeting with Taylor for 10 hours, an NFL source confirmed to the Globe. One source said it might be several weeks until the NFL has any updates.
Brown remains eligible to play Sunday. An NFL spokesman said Wednesday that there was no update on Brown’s status because “the matter remains under review.”
Neither Taylor’s lawyer nor a Patriots spokesman immediately responded to requests for comment Wednesday afternoon.
The NFL’s personal conduct policy allows commissioner Roger Goodell to place Brown on the exempt list (the equivalent of paid leave) while the legal process plays out, but only if criminal charges are filed, or following an NFL internal investigation.
“In cases where a player is not charged with a crime, or is charged but not convicted, he may still be found to have violated the Policy if the credible evidence establishes that he engaged in conduct prohibited by this Personal Conduct Policy,” the policy states.
Taylor isn’t the only woman accusing Brown of sexual misconduct.
An artist, who wishes not to be identified, told Sports Illustrated that in 2017 she was in Brown’s home kneeling while working on a mural he had commissioned when she turned to find him standing naked before her with a small towel over his genitals.
Heitner tweeted Monday that Brown “denies that he ever engaged in such activities” described in the SI article.