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The law has finally caught up with Ray McDonald.
After several arrests for domestic violence, McDonald, the former San Francisco 49er, has been charged with felony false imprisonment and misdemeanor domestic violence, child endangerment, and violating a court order.
What took the Santa Clara District Attorney so long to charge him?
The String of Arrests
In the past year, McDonald has been arrested three times for domestic violence already.
In August 2014, McDonald was arrested for alleged domestic abuse against his then pregnant fiancee. Since then, the charges were dropped because the district attorney did not have enough evidence to pursue the charges, and McDonald and his fiancee ended their relationship.
Several months later, on May 25, 2015, police were called to McDonald's ex-fiancee's house. McDonald had broken into the victim's bedroom at her home and assaulted her while she was holding their 2-month-old child. According to reports, McDonald's driver tried to stop him as the victim tried to get away. McDonald eventually left. Later that morning, McDonald was arrested at the house of Justin Smith, another 49er football player.
McDonald was bailed out but didn't stay free for long. Two days later, police and the victim returned to her home to find McDonald there, in violation of a restraining order. McDonald was arrested for the second time in three days.
More than a month after the arrests, McDonald has finally been charged with false imprisonment, domestic violence, child endangerment, and violating a court order.
Violating a Court Order
The court order McDonald allegedly violated was a domestic violence restraining order (DVRO).
In California, victims of domestic violence can get restraining orders that will limit or prohibit the abuser from contacting or coming within a certain distance of the victim. Emergency restraining orders can last up to seven days, and restraining orders can last up to three years.
McDonald's attorney claims that he was never served with the restraining order. If this is true, then the second arrest in May for violating a court order is invalid. However, if McDonald did receive a copy of the restraining order and violated it, he could be sentenced to up to 1 year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
As for the other charges, if McDonald is convicted, he faces several years in prison, and is probably unlikely to play football again.