Ray McDonald Sues Rape Accuser For Defamation
( 4UMF NEWS ) Ray McDonald Sues Rape Accuser For Defamation:
Former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald has gone on the offensive, filing a lawsuit Monday against the woman who accused him of sexual assault in December, as a way to try to clear his name in hopes of restarting his career.
McDonald's lawyer, Steve DeFilippis, told USA TODAY Sports that while he believes no formal charges will be filed in the case, he hopes the civil lawsuit will push prosecutors to finish the investigation that has been pending for three months.
McDonald has been a free agent since he was released by the 49ers on Dec. 17 after police in San Jose began their investigation, and DeFilippis said he believes teams are reluctant to sign McDonald until the case is resolved.
"His whole career is being destroyed," DeFilippis said.
"He's a phenomenal football player, and teams are interested. But there is this cloud hanging over him."
DeFilippis said he is confident that evidence, mostly from McDonald's home video surveillance system, will clear prove his client's innocence. McDonald is seeking in excess of $25 million in damages.
In December, the woman told police she had been sexually assaulted by McDonald after a night of partying with him at a bar in San Jose and later at his home. The woman told police she hit her head near McDonald's hot tub and doesn't remember anything until waking up naked in his bed the next morning. She spent that day with McDonald and sought medical treatment the following day.
In the lawsuit filed Monday morning in Santa Clara (Calif.) County Superior Court, DeFilippis wrote that McDonald "denies each and every accusation," made by the woman.
McDonald, in the lawsuit and in prior interviews with police, did not deny having sex with the woman but said the act was consensual. McDonald was never arrested, and prosecutors in Santa Clara County have yet to determine if formal charges will be filed.
"We have no update at all. The case is still under review," Santa Clara district attorney spokesman Cynthia Sumida told USA TODAY Sports on Monday.
But McDonald, who still lives in San Jose and has been working out in the area, doesn't want to just keep waiting. The new NFL year began last week, and teams are filling their roster with new free agents.
McDonald, who spent eight years with the 49ers and was a full-time starter since 2011, isn't among them, as teams appear reluctant to sign a player under investigation for sexual assault given the heightened attention to crimes against women in the last year and a new personal conduct policy that carries enhanced penalties for sexual assault and domestic abuse.
This is not the first accusation against McDonald. He was under investigation for domestic violence last season stemming from an Aug. 31 arrest after an argument with his fiancée. The 49ers kept McDonald on the roster and in the starting lineup while police and prosecutors took more than two months to investigate.
The Santa Clara district attorney declined to file charges in November, citing a lack of evidence and lack of cooperation from the woman.
The 49ers released McDonald after the sexual assault investigation began in December, with general manager Trent Baalke citing a "pattern of poor decision-making."
McDonald's attorney argues now that in this case, McDonald is the victim.
"The actions of defendant were motivated by a desire to make others believe that she had not willingly engaged in sexual relations with (McDonald), and rather than accept responsibility for her own actions, and in an effort to hide and cover up what she had done, defendant acted in the manner described herein, knowing it was certain to interfere with the relationship that existed between plaintiff McDonald and the 49ers, and would interfere with his ability to be employed as an NFL player," the lawsuit read.
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