Reuben Foster to Plead Not Guilty to Domestic Violence Charges

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2018

FILE - In this April 12, 2018, file photo, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster, center, exits the Santa Clara County Superior Court after his arraignment in San Jose, Calif. Prosecutors say the ex-girlfriend of Foster has submitted a video to support her statement that she lied when she told authorities Foster had hit her. But Santa Clara County prosecutor Jim Dermertzis said Monday, April 30, 2018, the district attorney's office will continue to prosecute the domestic violence case against Foster even if his ex-girlfriend, Elissa Ennis, does not cooperate with the investigation. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster will plead not guilty to felony charges of domestic violence, possessing an assault weapon and attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime.

According to NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco, Foster's attorney, Josh Bentley, informed the court Tuesday of Foster's plea. Maiocco also reported Foster will be due in court May 17 for a preliminary hearing.

Authorities in California arrested Foster in February following an alleged assault involving his former girlfriend. In addition to the three felonies, Foster was also facing a misdemeanor ammunition charge, but the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office announced in April it would drop the charge since a judge had issued an injunction against the law in question.

Prosecutors allege Foster punched the victim, Elissa Ennis, eight to ten times, which resulted in her suffering a ruptured eardrum. Foster also allegedly dragged the victim by her hair and physically removed her from his house.

The Sacramento Bee's Matt Barrows reported Foster also allegedly threw the victim's dog across a room in the home the night before the alleged assault. According to Barrows, both Ennis and Foster told police he broke two of her cellphones, one of which was the phone she was using to call 911 after the assault occurred.

Ennis, however, recanted some of the statements she made to authorities. Her lawyer told Maiocco the injuries prosecutors said Foster caused were instead a result of a separate altercation she had with a woman. The lawyer said video evidence will back up Ennis' claims.

Foster remains a member of the 49ers. General manager John Lynch released a statement in April saying Foster "won't be a part of this organization going forward" if the allegations against him are proven to be true.

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