49ers Player Accused Of Hitting Pregnant Girlfriend, Arrested On Felony Domestic Violence Charges
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SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald got in a fight with his 10-weeks pregnant fiance early Sunday morning, leaving bruises on her arms and neck, according to police sources.
The altercation happened as the pair were celebrating his upcoming 30th birthday at his Silver Creek Valley home, the source told the Sacramento Bee. Police arrested McDonald Sunday morning, but he is now free on $25,000 bail and facing a September 15th court hearing.
“I can’t say too much, not right now, but the truth will come out,” the 6’3″ and 290-pound McDonald said after his release, according to the Associated Press. “Everybody knows the kind of person that I am. I’m a good-hearted person.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced tougher penalties last week for players accused of domestic violence after Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice’s was given only a two-game penalty after his arrest on an assault charge in February.
Players face a six-week suspension for the first offense and a lifetime ban for a second offense, but that can be appealed within a year.
According to the NFL’s personal conduct policy, it’s unclear if McDonald could be suspended prior to potentially being found guilty by the criminal justice system:
“Unless the available facts clearly indicate egregious circumstances, significant bodily harm or risk to third parties, or an immediate and substantial risk to the integrity and reputation of the NFL, a first offense generally will not result in discipline until there has been a disposition of the proceeding (or until the investigation is complete in the case of noncriminal misconduct).”
The policy pre-dates the new domestic violence rules implemented by the league.
“The 49ers organization is aware of the recent reports regarding Ray McDonald and we take such matters seriously,” general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “As we continue to gather the facts, we will reserve further comment.”
Coach Jim Harbaugh has not released a statement about the charges McDonald faces, but has been quoted in the past as saying he would forgive a lot of things, but not domestic violence. Donte Whitner said, “[i]f you put your hand on a woman then you’re done in his [Harbaugh's] book.”
McDonald has been playing for San Francisco since he was drafted as a third-round pick in 2007.
The incident is the latest blow to what has been one of the NFL’s fiercest defenses. On Friday, linebacker Aldon Smith received a nine-game suspension for what the league called violations of its substance-abuse and personal-conduct policies.
- NFL Sharply Increases Penalties For Domestic Violence
- Aldon Smith Apologizes To Team, Fans After 9-Game Suspension
- 49ers Team Page
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