San Francisco (AFP) – San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster is facing three charges stemming from his arrest for domestic violence in February, prosecutors said Thursday.
The Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office said Foster had been charged with domestic violence, attempting to prevent the victim from reporting a crime and possessing an assault weapon.
If convicted on all counts, Foster could face as much as 11 years in prison.
The statement said Foster, 24, left his 28-year-old victim with a ruptured ear drum after physically assaulting her at their home in northern California in February.
Reports have said Foster dragged his victim by the hair before punching her eight to 10 times in the head.
“Our focus is on holding accountable those who hurt their intimate partners,” Santa Clara prosecutor Kevin Smith said in a statement.
“Our office handles between four and five thousand domestic violence cases each year. We only hope that this case illuminates the tragic regularity of the rest.”
The National Football League has cracked down on domestic violence cases in recent years.
Any player involved in a domestic violence case can be banned for up to six games in the first instance. A second incident can lead to a lifetime ban.
“We continue to monitor all developments in this matter which is under review of the personal conduct policy,” the NFL said in a statement on Thursday.
The 49ers said the details of Foster’s charges were “disturbing.”
“We will continue to follow this serious matter,” the team said. “Reuben is aware that his place in our organization is under great scrutiny and will depend on what is learned through the legal process.”