A Santa Clara County jury on Monday found former 49ers player Dana Stubblefield guilty of rape, after prosecutors said he lured a developmentally disabled woman to his Morgan Hill home on the promise of a babysitting job.
Stubblefield, 49, faces 15 years to life in prison. He played for the San Francisco 49ers, Washington and the Oakland Raiders.
The verdict comes after a nine-month trial, and five years after the victim reported the April 2015 sexual assault to police. The jury convicted Stubblefield of rape by force, oral copulation by force and false imprisonment, and acquitted him of raping a person incapable of giving consent.
The jury also found that Stubblefield used a gun during the assault, prosecutors said.
“This was a triumph of resilience,” Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement. “The victim has struggled her whole life with learning disabilities and challenges to be self-sufficient. If we are not fighting for her, then who are we fighting for?”
Officials said that Stubblefield initially contacted the woman through a nanny website, and said he needed a sitter for his children, officials said. The victim, who was 31 at the time, agreed to meet with Stubblefield at his home, and left after a 20-minute interview, police said.
She drove back, however, after Stubblefield sent her a text saying he wanted to pay her for her time, police said in 2016. When the woman returned to the home, Stubblefield raped her and paid her $80, police said.
The woman immediately reported the crime to Morgan Hill police and gave the money to officers, police said. A records check of the phone number and address given to the woman, as well as DNA, implicated Stubblefield in the crime.
Defense attorneys argued that there was no rape and that the woman consented to sex.
Allen Sawyer, one of Stubblefield’s trial attorneys, described the incident as a “paid encounter for sex.” He said the defense team was precluded from showing the jury strong evidence that would have supported this theory.
“There’s a lot of information that we have, that the jury was not allowed to have, that we think would have been impactful to their decision,” Sawyer told The Chronicle Monday after the verdict was read.
Sawyer said defense attorneys will seek a new trial.
“We expect to keep fighting for Mr. Stubblefield’s innocence,” Sawyer said. “We will clear his name, and we look forward to fighting this out in the courts. This is just the first battle.”
Stubblefield was remanded to jail without bail, pending sentencing.
Stubblefield, a defensive tackle, was drafted by the 49ers in 1993 and named to the NFL All-Pro team from 1994 through 1997. He spent the next three seasons with Washington, then played two more years with the 49ers and a final season with the Raiders before retiring at the start of the 2004 season.
In his final season, the NFL fined Stubblefield and three other Raiders for testing positive for steroids. In 2009, a federal judge fined him $5,000 and placed him on two years’ probation for lying to an IRS agent about his steroid use.