- The Washington Times
Thursday, January 3, 2019

Reuben Foster had his domestic violence charges dismissed Wednesday ahead of his scheduled arraignment.

Foster, who was arrested on Nov. 24 in Tampa, Florida, after his ex-girlfriend accused him of striking her, was originally set to appear in court Thursday. But the hearing was canceled after the State Attorney’s Office had dropped the charges a day prior.

Although his charges have been dismissed, Foster could still face discipline from the NFL. The 24-year-old remains on the league’s Commissioner Exempt list and won’t be eligible to play until removed from the list.

“We are monitoring all developments in the matter which continues to be under review by the league,” a league spokesman said in a statement.

The Washington Redskins faced an intense backlash for picking up Foster in late November. The 24-year-old did not play a down for the Redskins this season, but they were criticized for claiming the linebacker so soon after his arrest.

Foster’s arrest led the San Francisco 49ers, his former team, to release him shortly after the incident, which took place at the hotel where the team was staying in advance of their matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The arrest was also Foster’s second domestic violence charge of 2018. His first domestic violence arrest was dropped when Elissa Ennis, Foster’s ex-girlfriend who also accused him in Tampa, recanted her accusations under oath in May.

The Redskins were reportedly the only team to submit a claim for Foster. Washington also did not contact Tampa police or the victim before doing so, but team president Bruce Allen told ESPN’s Lisa Salters the Redskins conducted their own investigation “of sorts” ahead of the move.

When the team claimed Foster, Redskins executive Doug Williams said in a statement that they would investigate the incident. Willimas later apologized after for calling Foster’s arrest “small potatoes [compared to] a lot of other things out there” in a radio interview.

On Thursday, in an email to The Associated Press, Estella Gray, the director of communications for the State Attorney’s Office, said there was insufficient evidence to move forward with prosecuting Foster.

“We take allegations of domestic violence very seriously and thoroughly investigated this case,’ she said.

In December, Ennis appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” to further detail her accusations. She shared photos of her bruised, which she says came from Foster slapping her, and said she was “shocked” the Redskins claimed Foster.

Ennis also told the program she was “not telling the truth” when she testified in court that she had lied to police.

“I did what I had to do for the person I love; I thought that he would change,” Ennis said when asked about her credibility. “Anybody in my position, they would do the same thing, if they shared a family with this person. He used to come crying to me telling me he didn’t have anybody. If somebody that you love comes crying to you, telling you that they didn’t have anybody, you would do the same thing, too. That’s why I did what I did, because I loved him.”

Ennis’ lawyer, Adante Pointer, told ABC News that dismissing Foster’s charges was “yet another slap in the face” to his client.

“Elissa Ennis was fully ready to participate and hold him accountable,” Pointer said. “This is not a situation where she recanted, nor that the prosecutor had new evidence that it didn’t happen.”

Speaking to TMZ, Foster’s attorney, Ed Suarez, said he believes the case was dropped due to credibility issues surrounding Ennis.

For now, Foster will remain on the league’s exempt list. Foster was allowed to be around the Redskins in meetings and could work out, but he was not allowed to practice or play in games. The linebacker has a nameplate and locker inside the team’s locker room.

If Foster faces additional punishment from the league, it wouldn’t be unprecedented. Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was suspended six games in 2017 over allegations of domestic violence, even though he was not arrested or charged by prosecutors.

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