Attorneys for former San Francisco 49er Dana Stubblefield fired back Tuesday against allegations that the NFL star raped a woman police say is disabled, calling the charges "absolutely ridiculous" and saying Stubblefield's accuser was motivated by money.
Stubblefield, 45, joined his legal team at his church, Jubilee Christian Center, for a news conference in San Jose the day after charges were filed. He faces five felony counts of rape, oral copulation and false imprisonment in connection with the April 9, 2015 encounter, which unfolded at his then-home in Morgan Hill. Two of the charges allege he engaged in activity with a victim incapable of giving consent. RAW: Defense Attorneys For Ex 49er Dana Stubblefield Say He's Innocent
The alleged victim had visited the property to interview for a babysitting job. Prosecutors have called the woman developmentally disabled or delayed, but Stubblefield's attorneys insisted she is of sound mind. Police have yet to detail what her developmental delay is.
"I am completely innocent," Stubblefield said, surrounded by a bank of attorneys, adding that he would take no questions. "I am not a perfect man but the allegations against that come a year after a consensual encounter with another woman are totally false."
The retired defensive tackle said the allegations are especially hurtful because he has focused much of his charity work on the Special Olympics.
"That was one of his primary charities," said defense attorney Gary Winuk, "and he spent countless hours with people with special needs. That's why this is so deeply offensive."
Winuk said Stubblefield and his defense team had gathered Tuesday to "firmly refute the charges" and question why it took so long — 13 months — for police and prosecutors to charge the case.
Prosecutors have said the woman, who was 31 at the time, interviewed with Stubblefield for 20 minutes that day, but left, the police report said. He allegedly texted her shortly afterward, saying he wanted to pay her for her time that day, the report said.
When she returned, that's when prosecutors allege he raped her and forced her to "orally copulate him," the report stated. He then gave her $80 and let her go. She went immediately to the Morgan Hill Police Department after the encounter to report that she had been raped.
Winuk took aim at the alleged victim, calling into question her criminal past. He said the woman had been convicted of assault and resisting arrest from an unknown location in 2013 and had also been charged in connection with a hit-and-run.
He also said she filed two unknown civil lawsuits and pleaded guilty to an unknown assault charge. Winuk claimed the woman asked Stubblefield for money — texting him 22 times — after they had what he described as consensual sex. Attorneys claimed she was asking him for money.
"This is nothing but a money grab, and an attempt to get money and take advantage of his celebrity status," Winuk said, adding that prosecutors sought "to sensationalize this case" and "arrest someone of notoriety."
Colsaria Henderson, program director of Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence, disagreed.
"The assault is the assault, and it has nothing to do with how many texts or calls happen before or after," she said.
Henderson stressed that the victim's alleged texts are irrelevant.
"It doesn’t matter," she said. "It doesn’t negate that an assault happened. We need to focus on what happened between them in that room."
Winuk argued that the woman has enough mental capacity to plead guilty, apply for a job and have sexual relations, saying the DA's claim that she is developmentally disabled is "absolute nonsense."
Why the two would have had sex immediately after a job interview was not explained. "The purpose of this news conference was not to flesh out everything that happened," Winuk said. "That's what a jury trial is for."
Aside from the rape charges, Winuk questioned why Morgan Hill police would have arrested Stubblefield outside his childrens' school. He said the former player had been cooperative and would have turned himself in.
Stubblefield also provided the district attorney's office results from an independent lie detector test that clearly showed the encounter was consensual, according to Winuk.
But prosecutors, who were not at the news conference, said on Monday there was enough evidence to charge Stubblefield with rape after a prolonged investigation. In an email Tuesday, Deputy District Attorney Tim McInerny wrote: "We will present evidence in a court of law, after which we expect Mr. Stubblefield will be held accountable for his crimes."
Stubblefield posted $250,000 bail Monday night and was released. He is scheduled to be arraigned on June 3 at the South County Courthouse in Morgan Hill.
The football player has encountered legal trouble in the past.
In 2010, a federal judge sentenced the former 49ers star to 90 days in jail for stealing his former girlfriend's mail. Also that year, Stubblefield admitted to submitting a change of address form so his former girlfriend's mail, including her unemployment checks, would be delivered to his residence.
Stubblefield was placed on probation in 2009 after pleading guilty to lying to investigators about his steroid use during his days on the field.
He played 11 seasons in the NFL, including the first five with the 49ers. Stubblefield later returned to the 49ers in 2001 and '02 before finishing his career with the Oakland Raiders.
Stubblefield, a first-round pick of the 49ers' in 1993, recorded 10.5 sacks and was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year, with a career-high 15 sacks in 1997, and signed a lucrative contract with Washington in 1998.
He also served as assistant coach at San Jose's Valley Christian High School.
CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco and NBC Bay Area's Steve Ellison, Raj Mathai, Cheryl Hurd and Kristofer Noceda contributed to this report.