DA Zappala to investigate local allegation against Antonio Brown | TribLIVE.com

DA Zappala to investigate local allegation against Antonio Brown

Bob Bauder
In this Aug. 15, 2019, file photo, Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) puts on his helmet prior to the team’s NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz. Brown missed significant practice time dealing with frost-bitten feet suffered while getting cryotherapy treatment in France and waging a battle with the NFL over the use of his outdated helmet. He lost a grievance to allow him to use the helmet that’s no longer certified as safe and returned to camp.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said Wednesday his office will investigate allegations made against Antonio Brown in a federal lawsuit.

A former personal trainer of Brown in a lawsuit accused the former Steelers wide receiver of rape and sexual assault at homes in Florida and the Pittsburgh area.

Brown, through his attorney, has denied the allegations.

The lawsuit contends that Brown in June 2017 exposed himself and kissed Britney Taylor without her consent inside one of Brown’s homes in the Pittsburgh area.

Brown owns — and lived in during his time with the Steelers — a home in Pine.

Northern Regional Police Chief Robert Amann said the incident described in the federal lawsuit was never reported to his department. He said his department has no record of the incident, and there were never any reports of sexual assault at Brown’s house in Pine.

Zappala said Wednesday the Northern Regional Police Department had contacted his office previously about an incident involving Brown. He could not remember the details of that incident.

Mike Manko, a spokesman for Zappala, said the DA’s office had a conversation with the Northern Regional Police Department about a possible child endangerment situation involving Brown. It was decided that the DA’s office could not move forward with investigating the claim, Manko said.

“Neither Northern Regional Police Department nor our office was ever contacted about the 2017 event that is contained in the federal lawsuit,” Manko wrote in a statement.

The lawsuit against Brown states that what happened inside the Pittsburgh area home made Taylor “extremely uncomfortable,” and that she had “no interest in a sexual relationship with Brown.”

“But, because her professional relationship with Brown was important and because she took it seriously, Ms. Taylor willed herself to brush off the episode, hoping that Brown would stop pursuing her,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit further alleges that Brown sexually assaulted and raped Taylor later that month and in May 2018. The suit contends those incidents took place in Florida.

“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. 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,” Taylor said in a statement through her attorney.

Taylor’s attorney had no further comment Wednesday.

Brown “denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit,” said his attorney, Darren Heitner, in a statement.

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

Drew Rosenhaus also disputed the allegations.

Brown, now with the New England Patriots, practiced with his new team Wednesday for the first time. Patriots Coach Bill Belichick said the team is taking the allegations seriously but declined to say more.

In a statement Wednesday, the Steelers said the 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 NFL has declined to comment but will be opening an investigation into the allegations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter @bobbauder. Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review assistant news editor. You can contact Aaron at 412-336-8448, [email protected] or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-564-3080, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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