Social Issues

Ex-49er Dana Stubblefield charged with raping disabled woman, he denies allegations

SAN JOSE — Former San Francisco 49er Dana Stubblefield was charged Monday with the rape of a “developmentally delayed” woman, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

 Prosecutors said the woman was assaulted on April 9, 2015, when she went to his Morgan Hill home to interview for a baby sitter’s job. The woman immediately reported the alleged crime to the Morgan Hill Police Department.
Stubblefield, 45, is charged with five felony counts related to assault and faces a “substantial prison sentence” if convicted, according to prosecutors.
 “This was a crime of violence against a vulnerable victim,” said Deputy District Attorney Tim McInerny in a statement. “She was looking for a job and she was unconscionably assaulted.”

Through his Sacramento-based attorney, Ken Rosenfeld, Stubblefield called the allegations “false” and “fraudulent.” In a statement, Rosenfeld said Stubblefield and the woman had consensual sex, and that she asked him for a job and money afterward.

Bail for Stubblefield is set at $250,000 and he was still in custody Monday evening. His arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.
According to a Morgan Hill police report, Stubblefield contacted the then 31-year-old woman, who officials said has a “severe speech impediment,” last year to see if she was interested in a job as a nanny. They set up an interview for the next day at Stubblefield’s home.

The interview lasted about 20 minutes, police said, then the woman left. Minutes later, she told police, she received a text message from Stubblefield saying he wanted to pay her for her time that day. She went back to the house where Stubblefield picked her up, carried her to a room and raped her, and forced her to “orally copulate him,” the report said.

Stubblefield gave her $80 and let her go, the report said. The woman drove straight to the Morgan Hill Police Department, where she reported being assaulted by a man named “Dana.”

DNA evidence matched that of Stubblefield, the report said. He is is charged with rape, rape of a victim incapable of giving consent, oral copulation, oral copulation with a victim incapable of giving consent and false imprisonment, according to the crimial complaint.

Other legal documents point out that the woman is 5-foot-tall, 105-pound, and Stubblefield is 6-foot, 3 inches tall and weighs 310 pounds.

Stubblefield’s attorney said there is no evidence to support the allegations, which he said Stubblefield only learned about in February.

“Dana Stubblefield is being unfairly targeted due to his celebrity and wealth by someone with full motivation to lie.” Rosenfeld said. “Mr. Stubblefield passed a lie detector test with flying colors and will present a full, vigorous defense against these allegations.”

Prosecutors around the country have been extremely cautious — some say too much so — to ensure sex cases against athletes are airtight before they file charges ever since the Duke University lacrosse rape case imploded in 2007.

Three members of the North Carolina team had been falsely accused in 2006 of raping a stripper in what came to be understood as a rush to judgment, which backfired a year later and led to the resignation and disbarment of the Durham County district attorney.

In Santa Clara County, several athletes have been charged with sex crimes, including former 49er defensive tackle Ray McDonald, who was indicted by a criminal grand jury on rape charges.

“We feel that these are important cases for us to get it right,” McInerny said. “We understand the ramifications both to the victim and to the suspect. This is a case that it took what it took for us to file charges this week. We take all these cases very seriously, especially sexual assault.”

Stubblefield was a first-round draft pick in 1993 from University of Kansas as a defensive tackle for San Francisco, where he played for seven of his 11 years in the NFL.

He stayed with the team through 1997, then moved to the Washington Redskins, where he played through 2000. He returned to the 49ers for the 2001 and 2002 seasons, and played his last year in 2003 for the Oakland Raiders.

Stubblefield is no stranger to legal troubles.

In 2008, he was caught in the Balco steroids scandal and pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents about his use of performance-enhancing drugs. He also was sentenced in 2010 to 90 days in jail for stealing a former girlfriend’s mail, including her unemployment checks.

After he retired from football, Stubblefield coached at Valley Christian High School in San Jose for four years until 2009, when he stopped down after accusations by his ex-fiance of repeatedly harassing her during the previous year.

Stubblefield lived in and around Willow Glen for years and was often seen, even in the past several months, in the area walking his dog.

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