Patriots' Edelman pleads not guilty on assault charge

New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman was released on personal recognizance Tuesday after a brief court appearance on a charge of groping a woman during a Halloween party at a Boston nightclub.

Police were called to the club at about 1:30 a.m. ET Tuesday and met a woman who said Edelman, 25, reached under her costume and grabbed her crotch, according to an application for a criminal complaint.

A witness who was with the woman said he observed Edelman bump into her and then saw her face "change into an expression of shock," the complaint said. The woman and the witness told police they approached nightclub staff and asked to have Edelman thrown out.

The staff "ejected the witness followed by the victim," the complaint said.

The nightclub manager told police the witness was threatening to beat up Edelman on the dance floor.

Edelman was arrested outside the club, where he denied to police that he groped the woman.

The Patriots issued a short statement on Edelman's arrest.

"The Patriots are aware of the reports regarding Julian Edelman and will defer any comment to his representatives at this time," the team said, via the Boston Globe.

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"NFL Replay" will re-air the Steelers' 25-17 win over the Patriots on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 9:30 p.m. ET.

During his arraignment in Boston Municipal Court, a not guilty plea to a charge of indecent assault and battery was entered on Edelman's behalf. He was ordered by a judge to stay away from the Storyville, Mass., nightclub and to have no contact with the woman or the witnesses.

Edelman did not say anything during the court appearance, which lasted just a couple of minutes. He and his attorney, Amy McNamee, walked through a crowd of reporters outside the courtroom without addressing them. He is due back in court on Jan. 10.

"The charges will be fought vigorously within the court system, instead of a rush to judgment elsewhere," said Edelman's agent, Don Yee, according to the Boston Herald.

Edelman was inactive for last Sunday's 25-17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. In his career, he has 47 catches for 470 yards and a touchdown.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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