A year after the 49ers drafted Reuben Foster in the first round, and three months after he was involved in an incident that led to three felony charges, a judge will decide next week whether to move forward with the case days after the victim, Foster's ex-girlfriend, recanted allegations that Foster had dragged her by her hair, physically threw her out of the house, and punched her in the head eight to 10 times in February that led to the linebacker's arrest.
"I wanted him to go down. I was pissed," Elissa Ennis, Foster's ex-girlfriend, said last week, via the San Jose Mercury News.
Even if Foster avoids prosecution in this case, he still has a June court date related to a marijuana arrest that could lead to disciplinary action from the NFL. Richard Sherman, the former Seahawks Pro Bowl cornerback who signed with the 49ers this offseason, accompanied Foster to a recent court hearing and thinks everything will be OK for the linebacker.
"You know, I've had conversations with him," Sherman told NFL Network's Michael Robinson on Saturday. "Obviously he knows mistakes have happened in the past and he's trying to move past it. He's doing his best to deal with the situation the best he can. Basically, he's an incredible young man. We're all human beings and I think that's what society forgets -- that we all make mistakes. These young men are under a microscope that most people don't have to deal with. And, obviously, he's handling it the best he can, but I'm trying to do my part to just be a good teammate and be there for him in any way I can. And I think he's going to be fine."
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Regarding the domestic violence charge, Foster could face more than 11 years in prison if he goes to trial and is convicted. And as CBSSports.com's John Breech noted previously, Foster could also face a six-game suspension under the NFL's domestic violence policy if the case moves forward. And even if the judge drops the domestic violence charges, there's a chance the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office could choose to move forward and try to prosecute Foster on his one charge of possessing an assault weapon.
Foster has been practicing with the 49ers this offseason but general manager John Lynch made it clear that the team would cut the linebacker if he's found guilty of hitting a woman.
"I want to be abundantly clear, if these charges are proven true, if Reuben did hit this young lady, he won't be a part of this organization going forward," Lynch said.