The story of a sexual assault allegation against Michael Crabtree broke while the team was flying to Atlanta to take on the Falcons in the NFC Championship. Crabtree, seen in the this video, arrived with the team, but had no comment.
San Francisco 49er wide receiver Michael Crabtree is at the center of a sexual assault investigation in the City, according to San Francisco police.
The police department issued a press release Friday night that said the alleged assault happened in a San Francisco hotel in the early morning hours of Sunday, Jan. 13. That would have been in the hours after the 49ers beat the Green Bay Packers at Candlestick park to advance to the NFC Championship game.
San Francisco's Special Victims Unit is handling the case. Police said Crabtree has been interviewed with his lawyer present and is cooperating in the investigation.
Police said Crabtree has not been detained or arrested and has agreed to make himself available to investigators in the future. That why Crabtree was allowed to go with the team to Atlanta to play in the NFL Championship game this Sunday.
The team said he will play.
The team arrived, Crabtree among them, in Atlanta late Friday night. They got off the plane and on to a team bus without comment.
Team officials released a statement noting Crabtree's cooperation with police.
"We are aware of the allegation against Michael and understand that he has fully cooperated with authorities. The 49ers take such matters very seriously. We will have no further comment at this time as the legal process is ongoing," 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke said in a statement.
The team said any further comments would come from Crabtree's lawyer.
Joshua Bentley, an attorney out of San Carlos, released a statement to both the Chronicle and AP that did not claim innocence, but it did add one minor detail. He said the meeting with police happened Friday, the same day the team flew to Atlanta.
“On Friday, January 18, 2013, Michael Crabtree voluntarily met with the San Francisco Police Department and provided a statement. Michael fully cooperated with the inspectors and will continue to do so throughout the investigation. We have confidence in the process. Out of respect and integrity for the process, we have no further comment at this time,” Bentley's statement read.
Fans who spoke to NBC Bay Area appeared to be withholding judgment.
"Just saw it right now. I don’t know. Hoping it’s not true, um we need him out there this Sunday. Hoping it all works out for him," fan Ali Dodson said.
"His on field performance is great. Don’t know about the guy off the field. Does it matter? Well, I mean, ya, if he’s guilty it kind of matters, but we don’t know. Innocent until proven guilty," fan Clark Gieseke said.
Crabtree is single, 25 years old and has no criminal history. He was drafted by the 49ers in 2009 in the first round. He was the 10th pick.
Crabtree caught nine passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns during the 49ers' 45-31 win over the Packers on Saturday.
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the SFPD Special Victims Unit at (415) 553-9225, the Anonymous Tip Line at (415) 575-4444, or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the message with SFPD.