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New Pats WR Brown accused of rape

The Associated Press

Antonio Brown walks off the field after practice with the Oakland Raiders in Alameda, Calif., on Aug. 20.

The Associated Press New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown has been accused of rape by a former trainer.

Britney Taylor said Brown sexually assaulted her on three occasions, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida.

Brown has denied the allegations. Darren Heitner, a lawyer representing Brown, told AP his client plans to countersue.

“He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations,” Heitner said in a statement.

Heitner said Brown and Taylor had “a consensual personal relationship.”

The AP does not ordinarily name the alleged victims of sex assaults, but Taylor was identified in the federal lawsuit and was quoted in a statement provided by her lawyer, David Haas.

“As a rape victim of Antonio Brown, deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision,” Taylor said. “I have found strength in my faith, my family, and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault. Speaking out removes the shame that I have felt for the past year and places it on the person responsible for my rape.”

Taylor also said in the statement she will cooperate with the NFL and any other agencies.

A spokesman for the NFL declined comment, but the Patriots said the league told the team it will launch an investigation.

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

The 31-year-old Brown, a Miami native, was released by Oakland last week after clashing with the team throughout training camp.

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