SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – San Francisco 49er defensive lineman Ray McDonald won’t face charges related to a domestic violence arrest in his San Jose home earlier this year.
The investigation into McDonald’s Aug. 31 arrest by police in San Jose on suspicion of domestic violence, with his pregnant fiancée the alleged victim, failed to gather sufficient evidence of aggression by McDonald for prosecution, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office.
“Because both parties state that Jane Doe struck first, and because her injuries are consistent with restraint of her arms and then a continuing struggle, the People will not be able to convince twelve jurors unanimously and with proof beyond a reasonable doubt that McDonald did not act in self defense. Therefore, we cannot prove a crime occurred,” reads a memo from Supervising District Attorney Cindy Seeley Hendrickson to District Attorney Jeff Rosen.
McDonald, 29, was arrested without incident after San Jose police responded to reports of violence about 2:45 a.m. in the 2500 block of Bentley Ridge Drive where McDonald lives, police said.
- Press Release From Santa Clara DA On McDonald Decision
- Santa Clara DA Memo On Why Ray McDonald Wasn’t Charged
Officers booked McDonald, a defensive end for the 49ers, into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of domestic violence after seeing that his fiancée had visible injuries. He posted bail and was released from jail later that morning.
The 49ers have since released the following brief statement to KCBS regarding this development.
“Based on the DA’s decision not to file charges there will be no change in Ray’s status with the team.”
Legal analyst and criminal defense Attorney Steven Clarke told KCBS, the despite the public attention the case was problematic.
“The information came out that McDonald’s fiancé was involved in an altercation with him in which she was in position of gun in May and I think because of the severity of that allegation, she was going to take the Fifth Amendment in this case and was not going to cooperate with the prosecution,” he said. “If she wasn’t willing to participate, The DA had a tough case because, as they describe in their press release, there were varying accounts of this incident and unreliable witness information. So the DA without a victim had a very tough case.”
The 49ers permitted McDonald to continue playing during the investigation and team officials. Head Coach Jim Harbaugh referenced the team’s decision to keep playing McDonald while talking to members of the press Monday.
The 49ers player’s case came under focus since the Baltimore Ravens on Monday dropped star running back Ray Rice after a video surfaced showing him punching and knocking out his fiancée inside a hotel elevator.
McDonald’s arrest came little more than two days after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced he was toughening the league’s personal conduct policy on domestic violence and sexual assault in response to the Rice incident, suspending players for at least six games.
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