Santa Clara County prosecutors announced today that they have charged Ray McDonald with felony false imprisonment, misdemeanor domestic violence, child endangerment, and violating a court order that he stay away from the victim. If convicted, the Santa Clara District Attorney’s office says the former San Francisco 49er (and very brief Chicago Bear) will face up to three years in prison.
The charges are the result of an investigation into what happened on May 25, when the defensive end was arrested by police and accused of domestic violence. Here is how prosecutors, in their press release, describe what happened that day. They also say that the assault happened while the woman “was holding their 2-month-old infant.”
At approximately 4 a.m. on May 25, 2015, Santa Clara officers responded to domestic disturbance call at a home on Carlyle Court. The subsequent investigation revealed that the former professional football player had broken into the bedroom where the victim was sleeping. McDonald then then assaulted the victim as his driver tried to stop him and she tried to get away. McDonald eventually left the scene.
As police were interviewing the victim, McDonald came back to the residence, but the driver sped away upon seeing police vehicles. San Jose police arrested McDonald at a different residence later that morning.
On May 27, after he had posted bail, McDonald was arrested again when the victim and police arrived at the residence and discovered that McDonald was there in violation of the restraining order.
This is the third criminal investigation involving McDonald since August, when he was investigated for domestic violence. Prosecutors declined to file charges in that case. In December, he was investigated after a rape allegation. No charges were brought, and the 49ers cut him soon afterward. McDonald tried to sue the woman who accused him of rape, but a judge threw it out.
It looked like McDonald was going to get another chance when the Bears picked him up in March. The team quickly changed its mind and dropped him after news broke about the latest investigation, which lead to today’s charges.
Update (4:56 p.m.): Santa Clara prosecutors have released the statement of probable cause for McDonald and it gives more details about what happened that night. The woman, McDonald’s ex-fiancée, told police that McDonald had attacked her multiple times in the past when he was drunk, but she never reported it because “she felt they could work out their problems, and that criminal charges would jeopardize McDonald’s career as a professional football player.” On May 25, she had her bedroom door locked because because she knew McDonald had been drinking and she was afraid.
She told police that McDonald broke open the door, they got in a fight, then he carried her to the dining room, where he cornered her as she held their son. He called her a bitch and a whore, she said, and she began recording with her cell phone. Here is what the video showed, according to the probable cause statement:
McDonald denied attacking the woman and told police anything he knocked over was on accident. Toxicology reports said his blood-alcohol level was at 0.12 percent, according to the statement. On May 27, officers went to the home to make sure the woman was safe while she she was getting her personal things. They found McDonald there, which was a violation of the restraining order.
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