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49ers owner investigated in assault

San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr. has been accused by a female acquaintance of assaulting her at his home, police said Thursday.

Menlo Park police are investigating the allegation, but no charges have been filed, Detective Dominick Peloso said at a news conference.

Investigators are concentrating on unraveling conflicting accounts by witnesses to the alleged assault early Tuesday, Peloso said.

"There was alcohol involved and memories are impaired," Peloso explained.

The investigation is expected to continue into next week, and the San Mateo County district attorney's office will then decide whether to file charges, Peloso said.

"We're looking at a possible felony sexual assault charge," he said.

DeBartolo, known as one of the National Football League's most successful, free-spending owners, was questioned Tuesday, several hours after the alleged assault, Peloso said.

DeBartolo was not available for comment Thursday. His personal secretary at DeBartolo Corp. in Youngstown, Ohio, said he was "traveling."

Team president Carmen Policy, a close friend of DeBartolo's who was seen with DeBartolo and other friends at a local restaurant and pub on the night of the incident, said the allegations were false.

The woman, whose name was withheld, told police DeBartolo assaulted her about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday at his Menlo Park residence, about 25 miles south of San Francisco.

She initially reported the assault by telephone, then filed a report at the Menlo Park police station about 1 a.m., Peloso said.

The woman told investigators she and DeBartolo were among a group of people eating and drinking together at a restaurant. A group of them left the restaurant and continued the party at DeBartolo's home.

DeBartolo, 45, is married and has three daughters.

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