SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — The legal team for ex-49ers star Dana Stubblefield filed a motion Friday calling on the Santa Clara County District Attorney to recuse himself from the rape case against the former football player.
Stubblefield’s attorney Gary Winuk spoke briefly in front of the Hall of Justice Friday morning to address the motion filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court to have District Attorney Jeff Rosen and his office recused from the criminal proceedings against Stubblefield.
According to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office, the rape victim was assaulted at the defendant’s home in Morgan Hill on the afternoon of April 9, 2015.
The victim – a developmentally disabled woman who was age 31 at the time – traveled to Stubblefield’s home after he contacted her through a babysitter website to interview for a job. After the assault, the victim immediately went to the Morgan Hill Police Department to report the crime.
Stubblefield was arrested and charged with rape in connection with the 2015 incident last week.
“For more than a year, the District Attorney did not act on this particular incident,” said Winuk. “A year later though, they showed up at Mr. Stubblefield’s children’s school with a press release in one hand and handcuffs in the other.”
Winuk went on to say that since Stubblefield’s arrest, there have been press statements, leaks and other types of conduct in an attempt to prejudice to public in the case.
“We feel the case needs to be handled by an impartial body, so we’re asking for the Attorney General’s office to be named the prosecutor in this case so Mr. Stubblefield can get a fair deal,” said Winuk.
While the District Attorney’s Office is allowed to provide press releases to inform the public of an arrest, the one issued on Stubblefield’s case went above providing the public with basic information, Winuk said.
The document filed in court Friday referred to examples from the press release including statements from Deputy District Attorney Tim McInerny that in part stated “a vulnerable victim” and “she was unconscionably assaulted.”
The document also cites February news release on another major case that stated the office declined to provide further comment, a policy that was violated in Stubblefield’s case, Winuk said.
Stubblefield’s defense team had previously suggested that Stubblefield was being turned into a political pawn during an election year.
Last week, Stubblefield appeared with his attorneys Winuk and Ken Rosenfeld at a press conference to vehemently deny the rape charges. Maintaining that the the sexual encounter was consensual, Stubblefield and his legal team also claimed that the alleged victim wasn’t developmentally disabled and is targeting the former NFL player for financial gain.
The 45-year-old Stubblefield was a defensive tackle in the NFL for 11 seasons. He played for the San Francisco 49ers in the 1990s and ended his career with the Oakland Raiders in 2003.
Currently a sports commentator, Stubblefield is a well-known figure in the Bay Area and works with multiple charities, primarily Special Olympics, his defense attorneys said.
“Our response is the evidence we will present in court. We seek justice for the victim and the people,” the District Attorney’s Office said in a statement after Friday’s news conference.
The motion is expected to be heard during Stubblefield’s arraignment scheduled for June 3.
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