August 27, 2015 / 1:05 AM / 4 years ago

Ex-San Francisco 49ers player Ray McDonald charged with rape

(Reuters) - Former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald has been charged with rape by intoxication, and current 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks has been charged with sexual battery of the same woman on the same night, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

Then San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald (91) looks on during the second quarter of the game against the Chicago Bears at Levi's Stadium. Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The felony indictment against McDonald, marking the latest sex abuse scandal to embroil the National Football League, stems from a December 2014 incident at his home, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

The eight-year NFL veteran faces up to eight years in prison if convicted of the rape charge. McDonald was arrested on Wednesday and released after posting $100,000 bail. His arraignment was set for Sept. 25, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

Brooks, 31, was charged separately with misdemeanor sexual battery stemming from an alleged assault that occurred the same evening against the same woman McDonald is accused of raping. Brooks’ charge carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail.

Prosecutors did not immediately furnish copies of the indictment returned this week or other charging documents and declined to detail the circumstances of the offenses.

McDonald has said he and his accuser had a consensual sexual encounter.

McDonald and Brooks are the latest of a string of current and former pro football players accused of domestic abuse or sex crimes, bringing the NFL under intense scrutiny and criticism for the off-field behavior of its athletes.

In July, NFL free agent safety C.J. Spillman was charged with sexual assault in a September incident at a Dallas-area hotel when he was playing for the Cowboys.

The month before, Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp was charged in Las Vegas with three counts of domestic abuse months after his arrest for soliciting a prostitute.

The grand jury that indicted McDonald declined to charge him with felony false imprisonment and other domestic violence charges stemming from a May 2015 incident in which he was accused of assaulting his ex-fiancee as she held their 2-month-old child, the district attorney’s office said.

Two days after that incident, after posting bail, McDonald was arrested again for violating a restraining order by visiting her residence. The grand jury did indict him on a charge of breaching that restraining order, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail, the prosecutor’s office said.

McDonald was released by the 49ers in December, after he was named as a possible suspect in the rape case. The Chicago Bears signed him in March but released him in May after the arrest involving his former fiancee.

Neither the NFL nor the 49ers had an immediate comment about McDonald’s indictment.

In a statement about the charges against Brooks, 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke said the team takes any charge against its players seriously and was “in communication with the NFL.” He said Brooks would not participate in Saturday’s preseason game against the Denver Broncos, and the team sent him home from Colorado to California.

Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Additional reporting by Steve Ginsburg in New York; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Eric Beech and Clarence Fernandez

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