BOSTON (AP) — Prosecutors on Thursday dropped an indecent assault and battery charge against New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman, saying evidence suggests he just briefly grabbed the hand of a woman who accused him of groping her.
Edelman, 25, was accused of grabbing the woman’s crotch after reaching under her costume during a Halloween party at a Boston nightclub.
On Thursday, prosecutors said they decided to drop the charge after reviewing video surveillance and witness statements and interviewing the woman several times.
They said video indicates Edelman “approached a woman on the dance floor and took her hand briefly.” The contact was “fleeting” and Edelman didn’t commit a crime, prosecutors said.
“The Commonwealth would be unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally engaged in a harmful or offensive touching of the complainant that would be regarded by society as immodest, immoral, and improper,” prosecutors wrote in the court papers they filed to withdraw prosecution.
A message for comment was left with Edelman’s attorney. A Patriots spokesman said that since the team hasn’t been involved in the case, it was inappropriate to comment.
Edelman was arrested outside the Storyville nightclub after police were called there early on Nov. 1. At the time, Edelman denied to police that that he had groped the woman.
This year, Edelman has three receptions for 27 yards and has played defensive back, recording 10 tackles. He’s also returned punts, averaging 11.7 yards per return with a 72-yard touchdown.
Edelman, through the Patriots, issued a statement after the decision:
“I am very appreciative of the hard work of the County’s public officials and of my attorney Amy McNamee. I am humbled by the support of my teammates and the Patriots organization.
“I’m just looking forward to focusing on football.”