San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald has been released on bail having been arrested and charged on felony domestic violence charge this Sunday.
According to numerous reports, the victim of McDonald's alleged assault was his 10-week pregnant fiancee, with the incident believed to have taken place at a party organized to celebrate the 49ers starter's birthday.
The incident comes just days after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released new guidelines regarding the disciplining of player's found guilty of domestic abuse in light of the recent Ray Rice altercation.
McDonald posted a $25,000 bail late on Sunday night and is slated to appear in court September 15th.
The 2007 draftee was apparently hosting a party to celebrate his impending 30th birthday on Saturday but, as noted by the official police report, officers were called to his home at 2.48am on Sunday morning - McDonald was taken to the Santa Clara County Jail at 5.30am.
The report goes on to state that the NFL player was booked for "inflicting injury on a spouse or cohabitant."
Having spent several hours in under police supervision McDonald was released on bail late on Sunday, telling reporters on his way out:
"I can't say too much about it now. The truth will come out."
The NFL last week revealed new sanctions for those found guilty of domestic violence and McDonald could well be the first player to be dealt with under the new rulings.
In the new guidelines first-time domestic violence offenders face a six-game suspension whilst the NFL has the option to ban for life anyone punished for their second offense.
In his announcement Thursday Goodell also noted that there were other circumstances which could lead to harsher penalties. These include, but are not limited to; incidents involving pregnant woman, involving weapons, choking or repeated striking.
With reports suggesting McDonald struck his pregnant fiancee this could mean a long suspension indeed.
Whilst this story obviously has a more important focus away from the gridiron the ramifications for the San Francisco 49ers cannot be underestimated.
With fellow defensive star Aldon Smith suspended for nine games in relation to substance abuse and other off-field issues earlier last week, and inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman facing at least six weeks on the sidelines through injury, the NFC Championship game runner-up are suddenly looking light in a key area.
McDonald, since debuting for the 49ers eight years ago, has combined for 171 tackles, 16.5 sacks and three tackles.
What is more the San Francisco 49ers now actually lead the entire league in arrests as of 2012 with ten of their players booked by police in the proceeding time.
Hardly the ideal situation for the franchise with the 2014 NFL season just days away.
The San Francisco 49ers meanwhile released their own statement concerning the McDonald incident which read as follows:
"The 49ers organization is aware of the recent reports regarding Ray McDonald and we take such matters seriously. As we continue to gather the facts, we will reserve further comment."
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