Crabtree under cloud of suspicion on assault

Alleged assault took place hours after 49ers' win

With the 49ers in Atlanta and the NFC Championship Game against the Falcons now one day away, police are investigating Niners wide receiver Michael Crabtree on alleged sexual assault charges.

Authorities said Friday police are investigating a sexual assault allegation involving San Francisco's leading receiver. The alleged assault occurred in a San Francisco hotel room early Sunday, after the 49ers' playoff victory over the Green Bay Packers, police said in a written statement.

Crabtree has been interviewed with his attorney present and has cooperated with the probe, the statement said. The receiver hasn't been detained or arrested, and he agreed to be available for more questions in the future.

The probe is being handled by the San Francisco Police Department's special victims unit. When the investigation is done, the findings will be forwarded to the district attorney's office, which decides if charges should be filed.

Authorities didn't release any further details.

Niners General Manager Trent Baalke said the team is aware of the allegations.

In a statement released by the team Friday evening, Baalke said, "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. Additional requests for comment should be directed to Michael's attorney."

The 49ers are preparing to play the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday at the Georgia Dome, San Francisco's second consecutive trip to the NFC title game. The winner goes to the Super Bowl, where the 49ers haven't been since winning their fifth NFL championship after the 1994 season.

The 49ers said Crabtree made the trip to Atlanta, though one report said he was not seen with the team as it arrived at its Atlanta hotel. Crabtree will presumably play against the Falcons after starting all 17 games for the Niners so far this season.

The team referred all other questions about the matter to Crabtree's attorney, who was not immediately identified.

This season, Crabtree became the first San Francisco wide receiver to log more than 1,000 yards in a season since Terrell Owens in 2003. A fourth-year veteran, Crabtree had career-high totals of 85 receptions for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns this season.

Crabtree is in the midst of the best stretch of his career, producing three 100-yard receiving games in December, including a career-high 172 yards on eight receptions in San Francisco's season finale against Arizona.

Crabtree, the 10th player selected in the 2009 NFL draft, then tied his career highs with nine receptions and two touchdown catches while also producing 119 yards receiving in last Saturday's 45-31 victory over Green Bay in the NFC divisional playoffs, a game in which Crabtree helped the Niners record a franchise-record 579 yards of total offense.

The alleged assault involving Crabtree allegedly took place hours after that game ended at 8:35 p.m. PST.

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