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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

49ers Sack Ray McDonald in Light of Sexual Assault Claims

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 1:40 PM

click to enlarge Ray McDonald. - FLICKR/DEREK KACZMARCZYK
The 49ers have ejected defensive lineman Ray McDonald following new sexual assault allegations that surfaced earlier this week. 

On Tuesday, police served a search warrant to the player's Silver Creek Valley home, after receiving reports from an alleged assault victim at a local hospital. This investigation came months after the Santa Clara District Attorney's Office decided it didn't have enough evidence to prosecute McDonald on domestic violence charges involving his pregnant fiance.

All of that suggests the team may be taking a harder line on assault and domestic violence charges, or at least attempting to cover itself at a time when the NFL is getting widely excoriated for its lax stance on such crimes.

In September, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said they would not penalize McDonald for the felony domestic abuse charges that had been filed against him, saying that they would allow for due process in the justice system. That announcement came shortly after Goodell changed NFL policy to suspend players for six games after their first domestic violence offense, in light of Ray Rice's infamous elevator beating of his then-fiancee.

Evidently, the 49ers' stance on domestic violence — and on player discipline in general — is evolving, as the team is now under intense scrutiny. It's led the league in player arrests for three years, per statistics from the San Diego Union-Tribune database.

So much for maintaining a classy image.

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About The Author

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan was a staff writer at SF Weekly from 2013 to 2015. In previous lives she was a music editor, IP hack, and tutor of Cal athletes.


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