49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

April 12, 2014
Questions, clarifications in case involving NFL players

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There has been no additional information today on the case involving Colin Kaepernick, Ricardo Lockette and Quinton Patton. Instead this post is meant to answer questions and to clarify other aspects of what is known so far.

* Is Kaepernick being investigated for sexual assault? That, after all, was the headline from TMZ on Thursday that started everything. The short answer: No. For one, no charges have been filed. In fact, neither he nor Lockette nor Patton has been interviewed by police. Instead, the case is being referred to as a "suspicious incident," one in which Lockette and Patton are mentioned just as equally as Kaepernick.

The longer answer is that the Miami Police Department is in the process of determining whether a crime of a sexual nature occurred. The case is being investigated by the department's Special Victims Unit, which handles sex crimes. The Miami Herald reported Friday that the unnamed woman underwent a rape test. The police also are waiting on toxicology tests that presumably will show if any drugs were in her system.

* If police were called to the players' suite at Viceroy hotel, which led to the woman being taken to the hospital, why is there no report of that incident or why hasn't it been released? Great question. Is it due to the sensitive nature of the case that some information can't be released? I asked Mary Anne Franks, an associate professor of law at the University of Miami School of Law, if there were rules or laws in Florida regarding the release of information that the department had to follow because it potentially is a sex crime. Said she was unaware of any specific protocol the police must follow when it comes to releasing information. "They know that any move they make is going to be met with a lot of scrutiny," she said. "My guess is that they want to err on the side of caution."

* The incident report, which was written April 3 when the unidentified woman went to police, is the only report released by the police thus far. It contains the woman's version of events and should not be taken as gospel. For instance, she told police that the incident began when she went to Lockette's apartment at the Viceroy hotel complex. Nearly every media account written about the incident has listed the location as Lockette's apartment.

In fact it's Kaepernick's hotel suite, at which he'd been staying since February. Lockette and Patton recently began staying there with Kaepernick. My understanding is that Lockette may have invited the woman in question up to the suite but that it's being paid for by Kaepernick. The bottom line: Even though the incident report is a document released by the police, it hasn't been vetted by the police or any other official source.

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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