Edelman appeared in Boston Municipal Court on Tuesday, and a plea of not guilty was entered upon his behalf. He was released without bail and ordered to stay away from the Back Bay bar Storyville and to have no contact with the alleged victim or witnesses. Edelman is scheduled to return to court Jan. 10.
A Boston police report indicates that Edelman was arrested just after 1:30 a.m. ET Tuesday. Assistant District Attorney Susan Terrey told the court that he "indecently groped" a woman at the bar.
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.
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.
The Patriots issued a statement Tuesday afternoon.
"The Patriots are aware of the reports regarding Julian Edelman and will defer any comments to his representatives at this time," the team said.
Edelman's agent, Don Yee, also released a statement.
"The charges will be fought vigorously within the court system, instead of a rush to judgment elsewhere," he said. "We have no further comment beyond that."
Edelman, 25, is in his third season with the Patriots. The Redwood City, Calif., native has totaled three receptions for 25 yards in a backup role this season, with his primary contributions coming as the team's kickoff and punt returner.
Edelman injured his ankle Oct. 2 against the Oakland Raiders and has not played since.
A seventh-round draft choice of the team in 2009, Edelman made the transition from quarterback to receiver/returner and immediately caught the eye of the Patriots coaching staff with his quickness. He has served as the top backup to the team's leading receiver, Wes Welker.
For his career, Edelman has 47 career receptions for 470 yards and one touchdown. He also scored a touchdown on a 94-yard punt return in the 2010 season.
Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.