Written by @kristenshylin_
On Monday, former NFL player Dana Stubblefield was convicted of rape and other charges in a California courtroom.
The San Francisco 49ers player was accused of luring a developmentally disabled woman to his Morgan Hill home through a babysitting website in April 2015.
Authorities said Stubblefield sexually assaulted the woman, who was 31-years-old at the time after he misled her to believe that he would be interviewing her for a babysitting position.
A California courtroom found the 49-year-old former athlete guilty of rape by force, oral copulation by force and false imprisonment; he now faces 15 years to life in prison.
Despite the court’s ruling, Stubblefield’s attorney, Allen Sawyer, said he “firmly believes” his client is innocent. Sawyer also mentioned that they plan to appeal the verdict.
“He’s going to fight to clear his name,” Saywer told TMZ Sports. “He’s innocent. He believes in the judicial system. He’s not happy where this is right now, but he’s going to keep fighting.”
Sawyer said the pandemic ruined Stubblefield’s chance of a fair trial, adding that it led to months of delays.
“Once they halted the jury trial for months, we asked for a mistrial because how the jury supposed to remember evidence from a witness from 7, 8 months ago when they’ve had a 2-month break and other breaks?”
On Monday, Sawyer told CNN that it was hard for jurors to recall what evidence was presented months ago.
“The jury was in a panel in January, and it stopped for two months because of COVID, then it stopped again for weeks on time,” he said.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Sawyer said that it is a “very difficult time” for Stubblefield and his family, but his client is “resilient.”