Well, this is happening…
San Francisco police have interviewed 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree about allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman in the city following the team’s victory last weekend, The Chronicle has learned.
The alleged attack occurred at an unnamed hotel early on Jan. 13, hours after the team’s victory over the Green Bay Packers at Candlestick Park.
The incident is being investigated by the Special Victims Unit, whose detectives have interviewed Crabtree with his lawyer present. Crabtree has agreed to make himself available for possible further interviews about an assault.
The 25-year-old player – who has not been detained or arrested – is expected to play in Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.
The team had this to say:
Statement from San Francisco 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke:
“We are aware of the allegation against Michael and understand that he has fully cooperated with authorities. The 49ers take such matters very seriously. We will have no further comment at this time as the legal process is ongoing. Additional requests for comment should be directed to Michael’s attorney.”
Crabtree was not in the locker room during the time it was made available for the media, which doesn’t mean anything because about half of the roster was elsewhere during that time. He also wasn’t seen with the 49ers when they arrived at their team hotel, but he reportedly made the trip with the 49ers to Atlanta. He and/or the team may have wanted to avoid getting approached by reporters or having their photos taken.
A similar situation happened in Santa Cruz involving Pablo Sandoval, although there are a few differences between Sandoval’s sexual assault investigation and what we’re hearing about Crabtree so far.
First, there were more details available about Sandoval’s case when that story was initially reported by Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area. That story is no longer available, but its details were cited by SFGate. More information will probably emerge about the SFPD’s investigation, maybe even before Sunday’s game. Second, the Giants were less than halfway through their season. Third, Sandoval was on the disabled list at the time.
David Fucillo of Niners Nation has a good breakdown of the legalities involved, including what California terms as “sexual assault.” He also makes the point that “it really is best to avoid speculating what may or may not have happened and who may or may not be at fault.” You could also add “what effect this news might have on Sunday’s game” to that list of things we should refrain from speculating about.