Both the Santa Clara County district attorney's office and Foster's defense team seem resolute in their respective positions with assistant district attorney Kevin Smith signaling Thursday that he would go ahead with the trial even if Foster's girlfriend refuses to testify, something that has undermined the prosecution in previous assault cases involving 49ers players. Foster is also being charged with misdemeanour possession of large capacity weapon magazine.
The 49ers released a statement attributed to chief executive officer Jed York, general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan on Sunday night saying that Foster will not be participating in team activities as he goes through the legal process stemming from his February 11 arrest.
Foster appeared in Santa Clara County Superior Court for arraignment Thursday afternoon.
In addition to the criminal charges, Foster is subject to potential NFL discipline under the league's personal conduct policy, which mandates a six-game suspension for a first-time domestic violence offense. "As previously stated, his future with the team will be determined by the information revealed during the legal process", the team announced in a statement.
The report states that Foster will not participate in the 49ers' offseason program as the legal system takes its course. San Francisco begins its offseason program Monday.
The informal ban from offseason workouts at the facility does not preclude the 49ers from assisting Foster off the field, and that includes support from Lynch, front-office advisor Keena Turner and player engagement director Austin Moss. The second-year linebacker out of Alabama, a first-round pick by San Francisco last year, could face more than 11 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
Per the release, the alleged victim flagged down a stranger's auto following an altercation with Foster in which he physically threw her out of their home, pulled her hair and punched her in the head eight to 10 times. And this time, they attributed the statement to Jed York, John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan.
"One of the things we try to teach our players here is that there are consequences for good and bad behavior, but we're going to remain supportive and try to help our players every way that we can".
"We will continue to follow this serious matter", the team said in a release.
Foster was limited in last year's offseason program as he recovered from pre-draft surgery on his right rotator cuff.