SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Ray McDonald will not be charged in his domestic violence case, the Santa Clara District Attorney announced Monday, a day after the 49ers dramatic overtime win over the New Orleans Saints.
McDonald was arrested at his home Aug. 31, just over a week before the start of the regular season, on allegations of domestic violence. Police at the scene indicated McDonald's fiancee has "visible bruises" and took the defensive end into custody. McDonald was having a party celebrating his 30th birthday in which a number of teammates were present.
Prosecutors said in a release that they were unable to charge McDonald because of conflicting versions of what happened, a lack of verifiable eyewitnesses and a significant lack of cooperation by the alleged victim, McDonald's fiancee.
The arrest came only days after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced stiffer penalties for players accused of domestic violence, including a six-week suspension for a first offense and at least a year for a second.
49ers executives and coaches vowed to respect "due process" when it came to playing McDonald, who didn't miss a game while the investigation was ongoing. McDonald has declined to speak to the media since the arrest.
Update: 11:35 a.m.
The 49ers released a statement regarding the outcome of McDonald's case:
"The issue of domestic violence is important to us, as it is throughout society. We have taken this allegation seriously, just as we have taken the principles of due process seriously. We have said from the beginning that we will consider the information available, allow the facts to lead to our decisions and respect the judicial process. Based on the information available to us and the District Attorney’s decision not to file charges, there will be no change in Ray’s status with the team."
Update: 12:45 p.m.
McDonald issued a statement through the team's public relations department:
"I appreciate the seriousness of the situation and I understand and respect that law enforcement had a job to do, which is why I cooperated fully with their investigation from beginning to end. I am relieved that the DA's office has rightfully decided not to file charges. I want to thank everyone who was supportive during this difficult time."