Former San Francisco 49ers player, Dana Stubblefield has been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for the 2015 rape of a developmentally disabled woman.
The Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office said in a statement the 49-year-old was sentenced on Thursday, October 22, by a judge in San Jose after denying a defense motion for a new trial.
He was convicted in July following a nine-month trial after a jury found him guilty of rape by force, oral copulation by force, and false imprisonment after having lured the woman to his home with the promise of babysitting work. The jury also found that he used a gun in the assault.
A day before the April 2015 assault, Stubblefield contacted the then 31-year-old woman on a baby-sitting website and arranged an interview, prosecutors said.
The Morgan Hill Police Department said the woman’s interview lasted about 20 minutes. She later received a text from Stubblefield saying he wanted to pay her for her time that day, and she went back to the house.
After raping her, Stubblefield gave her $80 and let her go. But on her way home, the woman immediately went to the police and reported the rape, the report said.
“‘No’ meant nothing to this defendant,” said Deputy District Attorney Tim McInerny. “Based on his status, I think he was never held accountable for prior criminal behavior. Today, he was properly held accountable.”
Stubblefield’s attorney, Allen Sawyer disagreed with the jury’s finding, saying: “We are as adamant as ever that Mr. Stubblefield is innocent,” he told CNN.
He believes the victim is not intellectually disabled and says the evidence to prove it was excluded from the trial.
Sawyer also disclosed he will file an appeal with the hope of ‘reintroducing excluded evidence, arguing additionally that holding a trial during a pandemic created an atmosphere that unduly impacted the jurors’ decision.
Stubblefield played in the NFL as a defensive tackle starting in 1993, when he won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year with the 49ers. He also played for Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders but retired due to an injury shortly after being signed by the New England Patriots in 2004.
He won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 1997, made three All-Pro and Pro Bowl teams, and he won a Super Bowl ring with the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX.