NFL Football

Foster's accuser recants domestic violence accusations

FILE -In this April 12, 2018 photo, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster appears for his arraignment at the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice in San Jose, Calif. Foster won't participate in the offseason program while he tends to legal matters related to his domestic violence charges. The 49ers said in a statement Sunday, April 15, 2018 that his future with the team will be "determined by the information revealed during the legal process." (Dai Sugano/San Jose Mercury News via AP, Pool)

By JOSH DUBOW

AP Pro Football Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) The attorney for the ex-girlfriend of Reuben Foster said Wednesday that her client initially lied to authorities when she accused the San Francisco 49ers linebacker of hitting her leading to domestic violence charges.

Attorney Stephanie Rickard issued a statement on behalf of Elissa Ennis that said her client can prove the injuries in February that led to the charges were not caused by Foster.

"(Foster) did not strike her, injure her or threaten her," Rickard said.

Rickard said Ennis' injuries were the result of a fight with another woman, and that Foster tried to end his relationship with Ennis after he learned of the fight. A video of that fight with another woman has been made available.

"She was extremely upset and told him if he broke up with her she would `trash his career,'" Rickard said.

Richard said that Ennis went back to the district attorney after she realized what she had done and tried to recant what she had told deputies. Ennis apologized to anyone harmed in the case, especially Foster.

The district attorney's office declined to comment.

Prosecutors said earlier this month Foster attacked his girlfriend in February at their Los Gatos home, leaving her bruised and with an injured eardrum.

The 28-year-old woman told responding officers that Foster dragged her by her hair, physically threw her out of the house, and punched her in the head eight to 10 times.

Foster was also charged with felony possession of an assault weapon after officers found a Sig Sauer 516 short-barreled rifle in his home while investigating his girlfriend's domestic violence report.

If convicted on all charges, He faces up to 11 years in prison.

Foster has not been allowed to participate in the 49ers' offseason program while dealing with the case. General manager John Lynch said earlier this week that the team would be patient but that Foster would be released if they determined he hit a woman.

"The gravity of these charges has not been lost on us," Lynch said Monday. "We take it extremely seriously. We do feel like patience is the right approach right now. We're going to learn things through this legal process. I do want to be very clear, abundantly clear, that if these charges are proven true, if Reuben indeed hit this young lady, he won't be a part of our organization going forward."

The 49ers drafted Foster 31st overall last year after questions about his health and character caused him to drop from being a possible top 10 pick.

Foster delivered on the field, ranking second on the team with 72 tackles in 10 games as a rookie and looking like a key part of San Francisco's defensive future.

Foster then was charged in January in Alabama with second-degree marijuana possession before the incident in February that led to the most recent charges.

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Updated April 26, 2018

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