San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald will not face charges after an investigation into an alleged domestic violence incident at his home, the district attorney's office announced Monday. The DA said it did not find sufficient evidence to press charges.
McDonald, 30, was arrested on Aug. 31 on suspicion of felony domestic violence. Police say that McDonald was celebrating his birthday at his home with friends and teammates. When police arrived at the home, they said the alleged victim, McDonald’s fiancée, had "visible injuries."
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the DA's office said McDonald's fiancée struck him first at around 2:30 a.m. during an argument, after which he tried to "physically restrain her." The office characterized it as a "physical struggle between two parties, each party blaming the other," and said there were no verifiable eyewitness accounts and no significant injuries.
"Conflicting versions of the incident, a lack of verifiable eyewitnesses, and a significant lack of cooperation by Jane Doe (McDonald’s fiancée) left investigators uncertain exactly what happened," the DA office said in a news release.
"After our thorough review of all the facts, we do not have evidence sufficient to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. McDonald committed a crime against Jane Doe."
The case was handed over to the DA in early October after police completed their investigation into the case.
In September, police revealed an earlier incident that occurred at the home of McDonald and his fiancée. In May, police had been called to the home due to a dispute between a man and a woman in which the woman eventually pulled a gun on the man.
McDonald continued to play throughout his investigation, as 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and CEO Jed York both said they would not discipline McDonald until there were further developments in his case.
McDonald later released a statement, saying he was "relieved" the DA's office did not file charges against him.
"I appreciate the seriousness of the situation and I understand and respect that law enforcement had a job to do, which is why I cooperated fully with their investigation from beginning to end. I am relieved that the DA's office has rightfully decided not to file charges. I want to thank everyone who was supportive during this difficult time."
- Molly Geary and Sarah Barshop