Santa Clara DA ‘exploring legal options' in dismissed Reuben Foster case


Following 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster’s latest arrest on a domestic violence charge, the Santa Clara County District Attorney will re-examine the case that did not make it past the preliminary hearing in May.

"We are sad, though, not surprised, and exploring the legal options,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said Monday in a statement. “The cycle of domestic violence is frightening and frighteningly powerful. Every day, this office faces the challenges of keeping survivors safe and holding DV abusers criminally accountable. As we said when the judge dismissed the case against Mr. Foster: Our commitment to domestic violence survivors is unwavering."

Foster was arrested Saturday at the team hotel in Tampa, Fla., where the 49ers were set to play the Buccaneers the following day. According to the criminal report affidavit obtained by NBC Sports Bay Area, the accuser, Elissa Ennis, wants to press charges against Foster.

Ennis did not cooperate with the prosecution earlier this year in Santa Clara County.

Ennis was described as Foster's on-again-off-again girlfriend. She told Tampa police that Foster slapped a phone out of her hand, pushed her in the chest area with one hand and slapped her with an open hand on the left side of her face. According to police, Ennis had a one-inch scratch on her left collarbone.

The 49ers officially released Foster on Monday. A first-round draft pick in 2017, Foster was suspended for the first two games of the season for violations of the NFL's policies on personal conduct and substances of abuse. He had repeated incidents off the field, including three reported instances in which he was accused of domestic violence.

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Ennis did not cooperate with the Santa Clara DA after her initial statements from an incident in February.

After that incident in Los Gatos, she originally accused Foster of dragging her by the hair, punching her 10 times with a closed fist and spitting on her. Ennis originally told police that Foster destroyed her cell phone to prevent her from reporting the crime to police.

But during the preliminary hearing, Ennis testified that she attacked Foster with a clothes hanger. When prosecutor Kevin Smith asked Ennis if Foster put his hands on her, she answered, “No, sir. Not once.”

Judge Nona L. Klippen ruled that the DA’s office failed to show sufficient evidence to move the case forward. The judge said the injuries observed on Ennis were not consistent with 10 punches in the face from a professional football player. The judge said the injuries were more likely the result of a fight that Ennis said she had with another woman the night before the alleged incident with Foster.

The judge said Ennis established a motive for the false report. Ennis testified that she wanted revenge after Foster said he was going to break up with her.

“I was going to f--- up his career,” she said on the stand. When asked why she stepped forward to tell the truth about her initial allegations, Ennis said, “I had to do the right thing.”

Ennis added: “It was all a money scheme. I didn’t want to get this far in the news.”

Ennis said she also stole more than $8,000 from Foster, as well as two men’s Rolex watches, which remain in a safe deposit box in Louisiana. Ennis is listed as living in Baton Rouge.

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