Attorneys for a former NFL player charged with raping a developmentally disabled woman last year are calling for the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office to be removed from the case.
Dana Stubblefield’s attorneys filed a motion Friday in Santa Clara County Superior Court to remove the District Attorney’s Office from prosecuting his case because of its actions that have tried to “prejudice” the public.
Stubblefield’s attorney Gary Winuk said during a news conference today outside the Hall of Justice in San Jose:
“We are having to defend ourselves against very scurrilous accusations and inflammatory language. … They are calling for the state Attorney General’s Office to assign an “unbiased prosecutor. … We feel that the case now needs to be handled by an impartial body.”
Stubblefield, 45, was arrested Monday outside of his children’s school by Morgan Hill police and charged with five felonies for allegedly raping a disabled woman more than a year ago on April 9, 2015, his defense attorneys said.
While the District Attorney’s Office is allowed to provide press releases to inform the public of an arrest, the one issued on Stubblefield’s case went above providing the public with basic information, Winuk said.
The document filed in court today referred to examples from the press release including statements from Deputy District Attorney Tim McInerny that in part stated “a vulnerable victim” and “she was unconscionably assaulted.”
The document also cites February news release on another major case that stated the office declined to provide further comment, a policy that was violated in Stubblefield’s case, Winuk said.
On Tuesday, information was leaked that the “potential victim” received benefits through the state’s Department of Developmental Services benefits, which is data controlled by the government, Winuk said:
“For us, our focus is on making sure that Dana Stubblefield has a fair trial. … (Stubblefield’s) notoriety shouldn’t be a factor here. This was a serious charge and serious allegation and he deserves justice just as everyone else.”
The 45-year-old Stubblefield was a defensive tackle in the NFL for 11 seasons. He played for the San Francisco 49ers in the 1990s and ended his career with the Oakland Raiders in 2003.
Currently a sports commentator, Stubblefield is a well-known figure in the Bay Area and works with multiple charities, primarily Special Olympics, his defense attorneys said.
The District Attorney’s Office said in a statement after Friday’s news conference:
“Our response is the evidence we will present in court. We seek justice for the victim and the people.”
The motion is expected to be heard during Stubblefield’s arraignment scheduled for June 3.