Former NFL star Dana Stubblefield sentenced to 15 years to life for rape

Dana Stubblefield leaves a federal courthouse in San Francisco in 2008.
Dana Stubblefield, shown leaving court in 2008, was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison Thursday for raping a woman at his Morgan Hill, Calif., home in 2015.
(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

Former San Francisco 49ers lineman Dana Stubblefield was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison Thursday for raping a developmentally disabled woman whom prosecutors said he lured to his home with the promise of a babysitting job.

The sentence was issued by a judge in San Jose after denying a defense motion for a new trial, the Mercury News reported. Last week, the California 6th District Court of Appeal denied a related petition filed on behalf of Stubblefield by his attorneys.

A jury in July found Stubblefield, 49, guilty of raping the woman with the threat of a gun. He was also convicted of forcible oral copulation and false imprisonment. He has been held in the Santa Clara County jail since the verdict.


Stubblefield began his 11-year NFL career with the 49ers in 1993 as the league’s defensive rookie of the year. He later won the NFL defensive player of the year honors in 1997 before leaving the team to play for Washington. He returned to the Bay Area to finish his career, playing with the 49ers in 2000-01 and the Raiders in 2003.

A day before the April 2015 assault, Stubblefield contacted the then-31-year-old woman on a babysitting website and arranged an interview, prosecutors said.

According to a report by the Morgan Hill Police Department, the interview lasted about 20 minutes. The woman later received a text from Stubblefield saying he wanted to pay her for her time that day, and she went back to the house, where she was raped.

After assaulting the woman, Stubblefield gave her $80 and let her go, according to the report. The woman immediately went to police and reported the rape. DNA evidence collected by investigators matched that of Stubblefield, the report said.

Defense attorneys argued that there was no rape and that the woman consented to sex.

Allen Sawyer, one of Stubblefield’s attorneys, said the defense was precluded from showing the jury strong evidence that would have supported the contention.


After the sentencing Thursday, Sawyer emphasized that the jury rejected two felony charges alleging that Stubblefield exploited a woman who was mentally incapable of providing consent to sex.

“We proved it, and the jury found that was not true,” Sawyer said. “That false narrative corrupted this trial from start to finish.”