Charges Dropped Against San Francisco 49ers Reuben Foster

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San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster’s career was threatened after his former girlfriend accused him of domestic abuse.

On Wednesday, Foster’s name was cleared after Santa Clara County Judge Nona L. Klippen dismissed charges of domestic violence against him citing “insufficient cause” to believe either charge “rose to the level” of probable cause, which is the burden of proof needed to move a case to a jury trial.

Klippen said she spent the past six days looking at the “totality” of evidence and did not see any testimony or physical evidence that indicated Foster had harmed his former girlfriend, Elissa Ennis.

Klippen’s decision comes a few days after Foster’s preliminary hearing, at which Ennis testified that she lied about the linebacker hitting her and that she made up the initial story to police on Feb. 11 because she was upset Foster had broken up with her and wanted to ruin his career.

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Shortly after the ruling, 49ers general manager John Lynch issued a statement saying Foster can return to the team.

“The organization is aware the domestic violence charges against Reuben Foster were dismissed earlier today,” Lynch said in Wednesday’s statement. “As a result, he will have the opportunity to rejoin the team tomorrow. It has been made clear to Reuben that his place on this team is one that must continue to be earned. We will continue to monitor the remaining misdemeanor charge.”

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office released a statement regarding the Foster case on Wednesday evening.

“We are disappointed in the judge’s decision,” the statement said. “We are disappointed because the evidence demonstrated that Mr. Foster seriously hurt his girlfriend. Some have wondered why we still think Mr. Foster hurt his girlfriend when she said that he didn’t. Recantation is common among domestic violence victims. Some are scared, some feel guilty, some are coerced, and some need money. Whatever the cause, we move forward on cases when victims falsely recant because we know that if we don’t more victims will be hurt. Our commitment to domestic violence survivors is unwavering.”

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