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Edelman is charged

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By Brian R. Ballou and John R. Ellement
Globe Staff / November 2, 2011

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The Halloween party was in full swing at Storyville, a new bar and restaurant in the Back Bay that boldly touts itself as a place "where speakeasy meets nightclub." There, at 1:30 yesterday morning, Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman allegedly reached under a female patron’s costume and touched her inappropriately, according to a police report.

Ten hours later, Edelman, whose professional football highlights have come mainly on special teams, strode into Boston Municipal Court, where he was charged with indecent assault and battery.

Edelman, dressed in a navy blue suit and clean shaven with his hair slicked back - in marked contrast to his booking photo - refused to comment, as did his attorney, Amy McNamee. She pleaded not guilty on her client’s behalf.

After the arraignment, Edelman, 25, stopped briefly to autograph a replica Patriots helmet for a bearded man wearing a hoodie and a cap who was waiting on New Chardon Street.

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

Edelman’s agent, Don Yee, issued the only comment on behalf of the player.

"The charges will be fought vigorously within the court system, instead of a rush to judgment elsewhere," Yee said in a statement released after the arraignment. "We have no further comment beyond that."

Timothy Bradl, attorney for the alleged victim, issued a statement that said in part, "she seeks neither publicity nor monetary gain, and she has no ulterior motives" and that she asks "that the legal process be allowed to take its course."

Boston Police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll said police would not provide specific details of the allegation against Edelman out of respect for the confidentiality of the information the victim supplied to police.

In court, Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Susan Terrey asked that Edelman be ordered to stay away from the woman he allegedly assaulted and a man who was with the woman.

In the past decade, as the public has witnessed a constant stream of allegations and charges against professional athletes, the Patriots organization has sought to remain above the fray, presenting itself as a model franchise.

The allegations against Edelman, 25, follow an incident last week involving second-year tight end Rob Gronkowski, who during the team’s bye week posed shirtless with adult film actress BiBi Jones while she wore his football jersey. Gronkowski, who has emerged as one of Tom Brady’s favorite receivers, since has apologized.

The accusations against Edelman come two days after the Patriots lost in Pittsburgh. Edelman, who also returns punts, was inactive for the game against the Steelers because of an ankle injury.

Boston Police said Edelman was inside the nightclub when he allegedly reached underneath the woman’s Halloween costume and groped her below the waist.

A man who was with the woman told police that a man - later identified as Edelman - bumped into the woman on the dance floor. The witness "saw the victim’s face change into an expression of shock," police said in the report.

The man then confronted Edelman on the dance floor and "threatened to beat him up" while the woman tried to calm him down, police said. The man and the woman were ejected from the club, followed by Edelman, police said.

Nightclub staff told police that bouncers had thrown out the man and the woman and Edelman to calm the situation.

When police arrived, Edelman denied that he had touched the woman inappropriately, police said.

Judge Raymond Dougan yesterday ordered Edelman released on personal recognizance pending a pretrial hearing Jan. 10.

Brian R. Ballou can be reached at bballou@globe.com.

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