Rams' strength coach charged with sexual battery

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Ted Rath, the Los Angeles Rams' director of strength training and performance, has been charged with three counts of misdemeanor sexual battery, according to Ventura County Superior Court records.

On Friday, Rath's attorney, Vicki Podberesky, entered a plea of not guilty on Rath's behalf at Ventura County Superior Court.

Rath, 35, was arrested Jan. 15 on suspicion of sexual battery, stemming from an incident in Moorpark, California (approximately 10 miles from the team's practice headquarters), on June 15, 2018, according to a press release from the Ventura County District Attorney's office.

The Rams placed Rath on leave following his arrest. Rath did not coach in the NFC Championship Game in New Orleans or in Super Bowl LIII against the New England Patriots in Atlanta.

"We are aware of the charges filed against Ted Rath," the Rams said in a statement Friday. "We take these allegations very seriously. Once the charges were filed, we decided Ted would take a leave of absence from the team as this matter works its way through the justice system."

During the week of the Super Bowl in February, NFL.com reported that Rath would not be in attendance because of a medical procedure. Rath had recently risen to moderate fame because of a viral video that promoted his role as Rams coach Sean McVay's "get-back coach," tasked with keeping McVay from entering the playing field during games. "We love him," McVay told NFL.com days before the Super Bowl. "I know the players and coaches miss him when he's not here with us, but he's with us in spirit. He's done a great job of helping us get to this point and he knows that."

On Friday, a Rams spokesperson confirmed that Rath underwent a medical procedure during his leave.

According to the press release from the district attorney's office, the charges allege that Rath "touched an adult woman against her will on intimate parts of her body for the purpose of sexual arousal and gratification" at a private residence in Moorpark.

Podberesky issued the following statement on behalf of her client: "Mr. Rath takes these allegations very seriously. Ted is a man who has led a law-abiding life. He is a husband, a father and a dedicated family man. He has the utmost respect for women and would never intentionally act in a manner that was demeaning or otherwise inappropriate. We intend to defend this matter to the fullest extent possible in a court of law, and we believe that after there has been a full vetting of the facts of this case Mr. Rath will be shown to be not guilty of these charges."

If convicted on all three counts, Rath could face a maximum sentence of 18 months in jail and would be required to register as a sex offender.

Rath has coached for 10 seasons in the NFL. He joined the Rams as their director of strength and performance last season following stints with the Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.