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49ers' Ray McDonald Not Charged in Domestic Abuse Case

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on November 10, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Prosecutors have decided not to file domestic abuse charges against San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald.

Following an investigation, Santa Clara Deputy District Attorney Lindsay Walsh cited "lack of verifiable eyewitnesses and a significant lack of cooperation" from the reported victim in opting not to file charges against McDonald, reports ESPN. McDonald was arrested on August 31 for felony domestic violence.

What led to McDonald's arrest?

Fiancee Reportedly Called 911

Police were called to McDonald's San Jose, California home on August 31 after a woman, who police did not identify but is reportedly McDonald's fiancee, called 911 and said a man that she identified as her fiance was "trying to pull me out of the house ... he's drunk." According to documents released by the District Attorney's office, the woman also said on the 911 call that she wanted to press charges for domestic violence.

However, after that night, prosecutors say the woman, identified as Jane Doe, declined to speak with investigators. It was also determined that the woman had struck McDonald first. McDonald, who had been free on bail, can now continue with the ongoing NFL season, where he has played all nine games so far this season for the 49ers, despite the looming criminal accusations.

Due Process

The decision by the 49ers to allow McDonald to continue playing -- despite the seriousness of the charges pending against him -- was criticized by many both inside and outside the league. Several other players accused of criminal wrongdoing, such as Ravens running back Ray Rice, were cut from teams, or in the case of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, kept off the field pending the outcome of a criminal case.

However, in McDonald's case, 49ers coaches and staff claimed that McDonald should be entitled to due process before being punished for his alleged criminal acts. The 49ers have also faced criticism for having the highest number of players -- 10, according to ESPN -- arrested of any NFL team since 2012. These arrests include linebacker Aldon Smith, who faced felony assault weapon and DUI charges in 2013 and was charged with making a bomb threat at LAX earlier this year.

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