Linebacker Ahmad Brooks is being sued for allegedly groping the same woman who told police Brooks' ex 49ers teammate, Ray McDonald, may have sexually assaulted her in December.
The accusation against Brooks stems from a defamation lawsuit McDonald filed against his accuser in March. At the time, McDonald was a free agent who had not been picked up presumably due to the ongoing criminal investigation involving him. In the suit, he claimed the woman defamed him and interfered with his livelihood.
In December the woman told police McDonald may have sexually assaulted her at his San Jose home after a night of drinking and after she hit her head in a fall at his home. In a cross complaint lawsuit filed Tuesday, she alleges Brooks "groped her person in a sexual manner" when she was unconscious from hitting her head. She claims that video surveillance supports the accusation.
She also alleges McDonald then carried her to his bedroom and had sex with her without her consent.
The 22-year-old accuser is represented by prominent Southern California attorney Gloria Allred, who has been critical of the NFL’s handling of sexual assault and domestic violence cases. The lawsuit seeks unspecified general and punitive damages.
On Wednesday Allred issued a statement saying she believes McDonald’s defamation suit was filed to punish and intimidate the alleged victim.
“We are speaking out today because we want other alleged victims and witnesses to know that they have a right to report to law enforcement in California without being subjected to lawsuits because they reported,” Allred’s statement reads. “ ... We will not allow NFL football players or any other rich and famous person to intimidate persons who allege that they are rape victims. We look forward to winning justice and to sending a message that we plan to fight back and win.”
A phone call to Brooks’ and McDonald’s attorney was not returned.
McDonald has maintained the sexual encounter with the woman was consensual. The 49ers, however, dismissed McDonald in December because it was the second police investigation he had been involved with in four months. No charges ultimately were filed in the first case, and he has since been signed by the Chicago Bears.
General manager Trent Baalke today issued a statement saying the 49ers “were disappointed to learn of” the matter involving Brooks and “will continue to monitor the situation.”
Although McDonald's agent assured teams his client would not be implicated in the criminal investigation, it remains open, a spokesman with the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office said Wednesday. It’s not known whether Brooks is now the focus of that investigation.
In 2013 Brooks was cited in a police report for hitting a teammate in the head with a beer bottle and punching him in the face. Charges were never filed in the matter. While a member of the Bengals in 2008, Brooks was accused of punching a woman in the eye in Kentucky. Later that year, Brooks told reporters the case had been expunged, and the Boone County (Ky) District Court has no record of it.
Brooks, 31, missed most of one game last year after arguing with coaches, specifically then-defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, on the sideline. He was suspended for another game after missing a team meeting.
Brooks presumably will compete with Aaron Lynch for one of the starting spots at outside linebacker. They tied for the team lead in sacks last year with six. The 49ers also used a third-round pick on another pass rusher, Eli Harold from Virginia.
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at sacbee.com/sf49ers.