49ers linebacker Reuben Foster charged with felony domestic violence

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San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster has been charged with felony domestic violence against his live-in girlfriend. (KGO-TV)

Inside a Santa Clara County courtroom, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster appeared before a judge Thursday afternoon to face the seriousness of the allegations against him.

The 24-year-old linebacker is accused of physically attacking his 28-year-old girlfriend at their Los Gatos home in February. Foster has been charged with three felonies, including domestic violence with an allegation that he inflicted great bodily injury, forcefully attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime, and possession of an assault weapon. He is also charged with misdemeanor possession of large capacity weapon magazine.

FULL LIST: Arrests of San Francisco 49ers players since 2012

"Our office handles between four and five thousand domestic violence cases each year," said Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Kevin Smith. "We only hope that this case illuminates the tragic regularity of the rest."

Prosecutors released new details Thursday saying Foster dragged the victim by the hair, physically threw her out of the house, and punched her in the head eight to 10 times, leaving her with a ruptured eardrum.

"This is way beyond a simple domestic violence case," says Steven Clark, legal analyst and former prosecutor. "He is now facing two strikes, under the three strikes law."

Foster just finished a solid rookie season and was expected to be a key part of the 49ers defense going forward. The charges are just the latest of his troubles.

In a statement, the 49ers organizations said: "We will continue to follow this serious matter. Reuben is aware that his place in our organization is under great scrutiny and will depend on what is learned through the legal process."

RELATED: 49ers linebacker arrested in Alabama

Earlier this year, Foster was arrested in Alabama for marijuana possession. Last year, at the NFL Scouting Combine, he submitted a diluted urine sample and was later sent home after a run-in with a hospital worker.

Foster remains out of jail on $75,000 bail and will return to court on April 30 for a plea hearing. The judge also issued a no-contact order between him and the victim.

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sportsSan Francisco 49ersfootballnflarrestdomestic violenceviolence against womencrimeSanta ClaraSan Francisco
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