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Former Bengal charged with assault for attacking wife and sister with golf club in front of son: police

Jonathan Fanene, formerly of the Cincinnati Bengals


Former Bengal charged with assault for attacking wife and sister with golf club in front of son: police

Former Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Jonathan Fanene faces kidnapping and assault charges for allegedly using a pipe, broom handle and golf club to assault his sister and wife in front of their 9-year-old son.

Court documents filed this week in the district court of American Samoa revealed the alleged attack on May 26th was over accusations he had an extramarital affair while on a trip to Hawaii.

The couple’s son told police his father ordered him to grab “the bat” and when he couldn’t find one, he brought a golf club, broom handle and a pipe and said he then saw Fanene “use these objects to assault” his mother and aunt, according to court documents.

“He beat them as hard as he can,” Fanene’s son told investigators.

According to the affidavit, he added: “My mom told him to stop, in a crying way.”


Jonathan Fanene, formerly of the Cincinnati Bengals

Fanene’s wife, who police said was covered in bruises on one side of her body, filed the criminal complaint three days after the alleged assault. She told police that her sister-in-law informed her that Fanene was seen in Hawaii with another woman and when she confronted her husband about it he “flew into a rage” and assaulted his sister “with his hands,” according to the affidavit.

She told police that Fanene used the pipe, broom handle and golf club to assault her and her sister-in-law, according the affidavit which also revealed that when his wife was able to grab and remove the pipe and stick from Fanene he allegedly “grabbed a commercial grade extension cord, wound it around his hand, and proceed[ed] to whip her and her sister-in-law with it.”

Fanene’s wife told police that at one point he “hit her so hard that she ‘blacked-out’ momentarily,” adding that she “thought he was going to kill her right there and then.”

The affidavit outlined other alleged assaults dating back to 2009, which included two incidents where Fanene allegedly held a gun to his wife’s head and another alleged attack where he stomped on her head after she found an email he sent to another woman.


Fanene was drafted by the Bengals in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL draft and played seven seasons with the team. He played for New England in 2012, but was released after he was injured in training camp.

He most recently served as director of the American Samoa Department of Youth and Women’s Affairs but lost his job after American Samoa’s acting governor, Lt. Gov. Lemanu Palepoi Sialega Mauga, found out about the alleged incident.

“Based on the information I received from the Police Commission, my decision is to terminate Mr. Fanene,” Mauga told the Associated Press on Wednesday.

Fanene, who has been charged with eight felonies and five misdemeanors, has been released on $100,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court next week.


Defense lawyer Marcellus Talaimalo Uiagalelei declined to comment to the Associated Press on Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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