Tuesday’s hearing in the criminal case against 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster was a simple one; his lawyer entered a plea of not guilty on all charges. The next hearing, coming a week from Thursday, will be much more complicated.
Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports California explains the import of the so-called preliminary hearing, during which the prosecution must introduce enough evidence to justify a finding of probable cause to conclude that a violation occurred. And the question will be whether the alleged victim will attend the preliminary hearing (via subpoena or otherwise), whether she will testify, and if/so what she will say.
It’s a very delicate spot for the alleged victim, who already has recanted the story she originally gave to police. If she testifies under oath, the potential consequences of telling something other than the truth become more dire.
Foster is absent from the 49ers as he awaits resolution of the legal proceeding, and he faces termination by the team if it’s proven that he struck the alleged victim.