NEW YORK — NFL officials said Friday the league completed its investigation of Bears defensive end Ray McDonald’s domestic- violence incident and ruled he didn’t violate its personal-conduct policy. But the NFL continues to look at his alleged sexual-assault incident.
‘‘We have completed that [domestic-violence] investigation,’’ NFL general counsel Jeff Pash said during the Associated Press Sports Editors meetings. ‘‘[Special counsel for investigations] Lisa [Friel] and her team completed that investigation [and] did not establish a violation of the personal-conduct policy. We informed the player and the [NFL] Players Association.’’
McDonald was arrested Aug. 31, 2014, on suspicion of felony domestic violence in San Jose, California, but no charges were filed because of insufficient evidence. Pash said McDonald was informed of the NFL’s ruling a few weeks ago.
Friel, though, said the NFL’s investigation continues into McDonald’s alleged sexual-assault incident. San Jose police began that investigation Dec. 16, 2014, after a hospital reported a possible victim. McDonald hasn’t been charged, but the incident prompted the San Francisco 49ers to release him.
The Bears signed McDonald last month to a one-year, $1.05 million contract that doesn’t include any guaranteed money. It was a signing chairman George McCaskey initially rejected after reviewing McDonald’s case.
‘‘Just to be clear, Ray McDonald had two issues, as you may remember — one related to a domestic-
violence incident and one related to an alleged sexual assault,’’ said Friel, the former head of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit in the New York County District Attorney’s Office. ‘‘It’s the domestic-violence incident that we have finished investigating and didn’t find sufficient evidence to say that he violated the personal-conduct policy.
‘‘The sexual-assault incident, that investigation is ongoing. That has not been completed, nor has the district attorney’s office in Santa Clara County completed their investigation into that matter.’’
Bears coach John Fox said last month at the NFL’s annual meetings that former 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was ‘‘quite frankly shocked’’ by McDonald’s issues. Fangio now runs the Bears’ defense, and McDonald is a projected starter.
‘‘[Fangio] felt he was one of the leaders on the defense, him and [end] Justin Smith,’’ Fox said. ‘‘Teammates thought very highly of him, and you’re around your teammates a lot in this business. The fact that he was a good, physical, tough football player, we were more concerned with some other areas that we deemed well enough to sign him.’’
Anna Isaacson, the NFL’s vice president of social responsibility, said the league has concluded meeting with teams about abuse situations and their responses to them, though she acknowledged follow-ups are needed.
‘‘We’ve made it clear to our clubs that we’re trying to prevent incidents from happening, first and foremost,’’ Isaacson said. ‘‘In training our club employees and our league employees, it’s about knowing when a situation is escalating and trying to stop a situation and encourage people to come forward before something gets to a point of violence or something gets to a point of a crime.’’