On February 11th, Bay Area authorities received a report of domestic violence. A woman claimed that her boyfriend had dragged her by the hair, hit her 10 times and tried to keep her from contacting authorities. The man accused of this crime was San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ruben Foster. The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office soon pressed charges, but were these accusations just an attempt at extortion?
Not long after being charged with battery, Ruben Foster found his life and career were put on hold. The 49ers released a statement saying that Foster was banned from the team’s offseason program. The NFL also started its own investigation of the charges.
Foster claimed that he had not touched the woman accusing him of battery. He was even supported by some of his fellow teammates in court, and yet prosecutors continued to press charges in his case. Then the woman who originally reported Foster took the stand. She claimed that the man had threatened to break up with her, and so she wanted to make him pay. So, after a fight with another woman, she called the police and blamed her injuries on Foster. This wasn’t the first time she had recanted her story.
Before charges were filed against Foster, the woman at the center of the incident had already recanted her story. However, prosecutors proceeded with charges due to the fact that some victims of domestic violence recant after being threatened by their abusers. That argument didn’t pan out.
A surveillance video surfaced depicting the woman seemingly fighting another woman after a road rage incident in San Francisco. The judge also pointed out that the woman’s injuries were not consistent with the damage a large football player could cause if he were to beat someone. Based on this evidence and several observations, the judge in this case dismissed the charges.
This case goes to show that a person isn’t guilty just because charges are filed. Even when witnesses are telling the authorities that a person is innocent, charges can still be filed. For that reason, those accused of domestic violence will always need to muster a good defense. To learn more about building a strong defense when facing criminal charges, keep following the criminal defense blog at the Law Offices of Richard Wingerden.