49ers release Ray McDonald as he is investigated on suspicion of sexual assault

Defensive lineman Ray McDonald has been released from the San Francisco 49ers, the team said Wednesday afternoon.

The news came after San Jose police said Wednesday that they are investigating McDonald on suspicion of sexual assault.

49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement on the team’s website ‘We as an organization have notified [McDonald] and his agent that he will be terminated, released immediately.

‘While this organization has a strong belief in due process and has demonstrated that over time, Ray has demonstrated a pattern of poor decision-making that has led to multiple distractions for this organization and this football team that can no longer be tolerated.’

Baalke said he informed McDonald and his agent by phone at 11:30 a.m. PST that the defender is ‘terminated.’

‘This is a situation that we can all learn from,’ Baalke said.

He also stated that both CEO Jed York and coach Jim Harbaugh were involved in the decision.

‘We expect a lot from our players, hold them accountable for their actions,’ Baalke said.

Baalke said the 49ers notified the NFL office of the allegations against McDonald, saying, ‘This is a team decision.’

Detectives have searched McDonald’s San Jose home, San Jose Police Department Sgt. Heather Randol said.

Randol said an area hospital notified police late Tuesday night that a woman was seeking treatment.

‘The victim alleged she was possibly sexually assaulted a day prior,’ Randol said. ‘Based on preliminary investigation, detectives secured a search warrant and served it at the alleged suspect’s residence in San Jose.’

Randol didn’t immediately respond to follow up questions seeking to clarify the reference to the alleged victim saying she was ‘possibly sexually assaulted.’

No arrests have been made or charges filed.

McDonald’s mother, Labrina McDonald, told The San Jose Mercury News the allegation was ‘laughable’ and not true.

She said her son warned her not to talk to the media, but she told the paper that ‘There’s no truth to that stuff.’

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league is ‘looking into’ the case.

NBC Bay Area’s Damian Trujillo, citing sources, reported Wednesday afternoon that the alleged victim is not the fiancee of McDonald.

‘It’s very unfortunate. […] I understand why the team did what it did. Outside of that, not my business,’ 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick told The San Jose Mercury News. ‘He’s a good friend to lot people on team. No one ever thought bad of him. Hopefully it’s just a misunderstanding.’

This is the second time in recent months that McDonald has been the subject of a police investigation.

Last month, the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office announced that it declined to file charges against the defensive lineman in a domestic violence investigation stemming from his August 31 arrest.

Prosecutors cited conflicting versions of what happened, a lack of verifiable eyewitnesses and a lack of cooperation by the alleged victim, McDonald’s fiancee.

‘This is about a pattern of poor decision making,’ Baalke said. Harbaugh notified the players.

McDonald said in November that he and his fiancee remain together and are working to strengthen their relationship.

‘We love each other,’ McDonald said at the time.

Source: The DailyMail

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