Receiver Antonio Brown has returned to the NFL despite a pending civil lawsuit against him alleging sexual assault and rape. On Tuesday, Britney Taylor and her lawyers provided a stark reminder of the serious nature of the accusations.
Taylor has filed a motion for permission to amend her civil complaint to assert a claim for punitive damages against Brown. Although typically sought in claims alleging intentional misconduct, Taylor had not previously demanded payment over and above compensation for the harm she suffered, payment aimed at punishing a wrongdoer and deterring others from similar behavior. She now does.
More accurately, she soon will, if permitted by the presiding judge to do so. Today’s filing consists of a nine-page document explaining the basis for amending the complaint to seek punitive damages, along with a three-page affidavit from Taylor reiterating her allegations against Brown.
While none of the information is new, the documents emphasize the notion that Brown stands accused of grave misconduct.
Specifically, Taylor contends that, on June 25, 2017, Brown masturbated in her presence and ejaculated on her back, without her knowledge or consent. She also claims that, on or about May 20, 2018, Brown raped her.
The affidavit concludes with this testimony from Taylor: “He then forced me onto his bed and pushed my face into the mattress. He pinned me down and physically overpowered me so that I could not get away or fight back. I told him no and begged him to stop, but Brown lifted by dress and raped me as I was protesting and crying. I never consented to any intimate contact or sexual intercourse with Brown — he raped me.”
The NFL previously investigated the allegations, but reached no conclusion as to their accuracy. The league has reserved the right to take action against Brown based on evidence developed in the pending litigation, up to and including trial testimony and a jury verdict.
If a jury eventually finds that Brown committed sexual assault and rape, it’s difficult if not impossible to imagine the league taking no further action. The case currently is set for trial next month, but it most likely will be delayed into 2021.