San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the three felony charges he faces from a February incident, according to the Santa Clara County (Calif.) District Attorney's Office.
Almost two weeks after the initial charges, Foster's ex-girlfriend, Elissa Ennis, recanted her accusations that Foster struck her eight-to-10 times in the head, rupturing her eardrum.
According to a new report, Foster is accused of throwing a dog across a room hours before Ennis called police in Los Gatos.
But Ennis also reportedly told police that Foster hit her "hard, but not that hard", and described the pain as being an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. She later issued a statement through her attorney saying her injuries were the result of a fight with another woman.
The 24-year-old Foster was charged with domestic violence with an allegation that he inflicted great bodily harm; forcefully attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime; and possession of an assault weapon.
Maiocco also reported Foster will be due in court May 17 for a preliminary hearing.
Her injuries including bruises and a ruptured ear drum. "(Foster) did not strike her, injure her or threaten her", said the woman's attorney.
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The only account of the alleged incidents in which both Foster and Ennis confirmed is that he broke two of her phones, the other when Foster believed Ennis was video-recording him during an earlier argument.
The ex-girlfriend of Reuben Foster initially told responding police that the San Francisco 49ers linebacker had physically thrown her out of his residence and struck her several times.
He added that there is a strong possibility that Ennis could appear in court to absolve Foster, as she did in her retraction stating that she fabricated the assault as retaliation for their pending breakup.
When police arrived, they found a SIG Sauer 516 short-barreled rifle, a loaded.38 caliber revolver and said that the home smelled of marijuana.
Steven Clark, a criminal-defense attorney and former county prosecutor not affiliated with the case, described the decision by Foster's defense as a shrewd legal strategy given the doubt that the accuser's retraction has cast on the case. A friend of Foster's was staying at the house, though he says he was in his room at the time of the incident and didn't witness any argument or altercation. She later ran out to a passing motorist who she asked to call 911 on her behalf. The last time, she told police, he punched her 10 times in her face and back. General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan have each stated that if the charges against Foster are proven true, he will be released immediately.
Foster remains with the 49ers, although the team has kept him participating in the offseason program while his case remains ongoing. "We try to have a consistent standard, but of course, talent kind of dictates some level of that".