SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — The San Francisco 49ers released defensive lineman Ray McDonald Wednesday, hours after he was named as a suspect in a possible sexual assault.

General manager Trent Baalke announced Wednesday the team has decided to release McDonald from his contract.

Earlier Wednesday, the San Jose Police department said it had served a search warrant on McDonald’s home in response to an unidentified woman’s accusation of a possible sexual assault.

Police said the alleged suspect is McDonald based on a preliminary investigation. There have been no arrests.

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Earlier this season, McDonald was allowed to play after he was arrested for alleged domestic violence. The team allowed him to play during the investigation, with 49ers executives and head coach Jim Harbaugh citing McDonald’s “due process.” The district attorney’s office later declined to file charges.

Wednesday, Baalke told reporters the pattern of behavior ultimately weighed against keeping McDonald on the team. “With this latest allegation, this just wasn’t something we were willing to deal with any more,” said Baalke.

RAY McDONALD TIMELINE:
• December 17: McDonald Accused Of Sexual Assault; Police Serve Warrant At His SJ Home
• November 11: McDonald Speaks Out After Charges Dropped
• November 10: Domestic Violence Charges Dropped
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• September 18: McDonald’s Fiancée Grabbed Handgun During Disturbance
• August 31: McDonald Arrested On Domestic Violence Charge

On August 31, San Jose police responded to reports of domestic violence about 2:45 a.m. in the 2500 block of Bentley Ridge Drive where McDonald lives, police said. McDonald was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence against his pregnant fiancée.

Weeks later, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office said it would not prosecute because both McDonald and his fiancée stated she struck him first and her injuries were consistent with being restrained.

“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,” read a memo from Supervising District Attorney Cindy Seeley Hendrickson to District Attorney Jeff Rosen. “Therefore, we cannot prove a crime occurred.”

“I knew what kind of guy I was and what kind of upbringing I had and that I respect women. I knew the truth would come out like I said that it would eventually come out,” McDonald said at the time.

The 30-year-old McDonald was selected as a third-round draft pick by the 49ers in 2007 and played eight seasons for the team, 49ers officials said.

Two other players at McDonald’s position of defensive tackle, Tony Jerod-Eddie and Tank Carradine, serve as backups for the team, the 49ers said.

 

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