NFL: Former San Francisco 49er Ray McDonald charged with domestic violence

NFL veteran Ray McDonald was charged with domestic violence for assaulting his ex-fiancee as she was holding their two-month-old child.
NFL veteran Ray McDonald was charged with domestic violence for assaulting his ex-fiancee as she was holding their two-month-old child. PHOTO: AFP

SAN FRANCISCO (REUTERS) - Former San Francisco 49ers player Ray McDonald was charged on Thursday with domestic violence for assaulting his ex-fiancee as she was holding their two-month-old child, prosecutors said.

McDonald, 30, was charged by the Santa Clara District Attorney's Office with felony false imprisonment as well as misdemeanour counts of domestic violence, child endangerment and violating a restraining order, the office said in a statement.

It said the attack started early on the morning of May 25 in Santa Clara, when McDonald broke into his ex-fiancee's locked bedroom while she was sleeping.

Prosecutors said McDonald's driver attempted to stop the assault as she tried to flee. Prosecutors said he later returned to the home but left at the sight of police vehicles and was ultimately arrested later that morning.

Two days later, after posting bail, the eight-year National Football League veteran was arrested again for violating a restraining order by visiting her residence, according to prosecutors.

An attorney for McDonald could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday.

McDonald, who has been linked to a string of domestic violence cases, was released by the 49ers in December after he was named as a possible sexual assault suspect.

The San Jose Mercury News reported that McDonald was accused of raping a woman at his home. The newspaper said no charges have been filed and McDonald sued the woman for defamation in March, though that suit has since been dismissed.

The District Attorney's Office also declined to file charges against McDonald after a 10-week investigation into allegations he assaulted his then-pregnant fiancee last year.

After McDonald's release from the 49ers, the defensive tackle was signed by the NFL's Chicago Bears before being released in May following his second arrest.

The NFL came under fire last year for bungling cases of domestic abuse by its players, and teams took players accused of domestic violence off the field.

McDonald is set to be arraigned on Thursday afternoon in San Jose. He could face up to three years in prison if convicted.