No offense to Tracey Kaplan, the San Jose Mercury News court reporter, but it’s kind of sad that 49ers fans and reporters are forced to follow her to get the daily scoop. The latest?
Ahmad Brooks CHARGED by DA with sexual batter; grand jury INDICTS Ray McDonald on rape
— tracey kaplan (@tkaplanreport) August 26, 2015
Trent Baalke, who has an incredible amount of experience releasing such statements, provided this one after the Brooks news broke:
“The organization is aware that a misdemeanor charge against Ahmad Brooks stemming from a December 2014 matter. We take any charge against a member of this organization seriously and are in communication with the NFL. Ahmad is returning home to California and will not participate in Saturday’s game.”
However, it’s not like this should’ve come as any sort of surprise to the organization. Ahmad Brooks has been facing a civil suit based on the same allegations for months.
The woman who reported being raped late last year by Chicago Bears linebacker Ray McDonald — only to be sued by him for defamation — filed a cross-complaint Wednesday, claiming that a home-surveillance video shows that both McDonald and 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks sexually molested her after she slipped on a wet swimming-pool deck and suffered a traumatic brain injury.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday contends that after passing out by the pool, the woman regained consciousness, but fell several more times, as a result of both the head injury and her alcohol consumption. It claims that while she was unconscious from one of those falls, Brooks groped her in a “sexual manner.”
So … what are the 49ers going to do here?
Why “due process” might be their answer
Most people figured he’d be gone by June, but the 49ers had cap space aplenty after all of the retirements. Plus, the 49ers are the opposite of deep at outside linebacker after losing Aldon Smith. That’s why they kept Brooks, even though he was benched for clashing with coaches (like current head coach Jim Tomsula), and played below his previous standards in 2014.
Brooks had reportedly lost weight heading into this season, and the 49ers probably figured he’d be on his best behavior (on the field, anyway). He’s the presumed starter at outside linebacker along with Aaron Lynch, with Corey Lemonier and Eli Harold serving as the backups. Undrafted free agent Marcus Rush has impressed a bit in camp, but Lynch/Lemonier/Harold/Rush is a foursome with barely any experience. Brooks and NaVorro Bowman are the only starters on defense remaining from the 49ers team that played in Super Bowl 47.
Why releasing “with class” might be their answer
The 49ers released Ray McDonald after several indiscretions, and they released Aldon Smith after his fifth scrape with the law since joining the team. Even if it’s *just* a misdemeanor, the 49ers will look like absolute cretins if they give him the benefit of the doubt and he’s eventually found guilty, especially since all of this took place in McDonald’s now-infamous party house.
Brooks, 31, faces up to six months in jail. The incident involving him allegedly also took place the same night against the same woman. No details were immediately available from District Attorney Jeff Rosen’s office, but sources familiar with the investigation have said the alleged assaults were caught on videotape by McDonald’s security system.
He may be found innocent, but do the 49ers want to take that kind of risk on a player who may have committed criminal acts caught on video? How about a player who was accused of punching a woman in the face in 2008, and (allegedly) bashed former 49ers teammate Lamar Divens in the head with a beer bottle two years ago?
Oh, and the 49ers are awaiting word on potential discipline for Bruce Miller, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor (disturbing the peace) stemming from the incident with his girlfriend. Welcome to the Golden Age of 49ers Football, when the only way you get out is by retiring, pissing off the owner or getting arrested three times too many.