Fake football star may be headed to the bench — for life

A convicted rapist who lured his victims with tall tales of playing football for the 49ers is facing 75 years to life for his latest assault, prosecutors said.

Charles Carter, 40, of San Ramon, was found guilty Thursday of raping an ex-girlfriend in her Foster City apartment last year after she let him sleep on her couch following a party, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Carter was convicted twice for date rapes in 1990 and spent much of that decade in prison, Wagstaffe said. All of his victims, including the Foster City woman, testified that Carter claimed to have played for the 49ers. The women said that dating a professional athlete was what made him more attractive, Wagstaffe said.

In the latesttrial, Carter’s claims of football lore proved false.

“He said on the stand, ‘Yes, I play for the 49ers,’ but we found out he’s been lying all along,” Wagstaffe said.

A 49ers official testified Carter had never played for the team, not even on the practice squad, Wagstaffe said. Prosecutors said that Carter’s lie on the stand might have been the main reason the jury found him guilty.

“He just wasn’t believable anymore,” Wagstaffe said.

What was more unbelievable was Carter’s reaction to the jury’s verdict. The court clerk read three separate verdicts against him: the first for a burglary charge prosecutors tacked on after they felt Carter had planned on raping his victim before he went into the apartment, Wagstaffe said.

When the jury found him not guilty of the charge, Carter celebrated wildly, shouting “Yes, yes, yes!” and hugged his attorney before the judge demanded he calm down, Wagstaffe said.

But after hearing the rape verdict, he put his hands on his head and started saying “No, no, no,” Wagstaffe said.

“It was like he went from the top of Mt. Everest to the bottom of Death Valley,” Wagstaffe said. “We’re glad to keep him down there.”

Carter had given his ex-girlfriend a ride home, police said, following a party the night of June 15. At the time, the pair, who had only dated for a few months, were no longer a couple but had remained friends, Wagstaffe said.

Carter told his ex-girlfriend he was too intoxicated to drive the rest of the way home and asked if she would let him sleep on her couch, prosecutors said. At some point in the night, he barged into her room and raped her, Wagstaffe said.

“We worked extremely hard on this case,” Wagstaffe said. “We knew that if he were released there’d be another woman out there who would get raped.”

Carter is due back in court June 10 for a prior-convictions hearing, when the court will set a sentencing date, Wagstaffe said.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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