The American Football community is abuzz with news of the sentencing of former San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Dana Stubblefield. He will be heading to prison to serve a sentence of 15 years to life for a rape case dating back to 2015.

The 49-year-old was sentenced on Thursday, following a guilty verdict that was handed to him back in July this year. The former professional athlete was found guilty of sexual assault against a prospective babysitter in his home.

According to a report by CBS Sports, Stubblefield was found guilty of "rape by force, oral copulation by force and false imprisonment." However, he was acquitted of "raping a person incapable of giving consent." He is also reportedly guilty of using a gun to enact the said assault.

"'No' meant nothing to this defendant. Based on his status, I think he was never held accountable for prior criminal behavior," said Deputy District Attorney Tim McInerney. He released a statement on Thursday, which further read, "Today, he was properly held accountable."

The former 49ers player has had numerous clashes with the law. During the trial, two women also testified that they experienced sexual assault at the hands of Stubblefield. He had previously spent 90 days in prison after stealing a former partner's mail. The incident took place in 2010.

Before that, Stubblefield was also placed under probation in 2009. At that time, he was found guilty of lying to federal officials. He was questioned in connection with an investigation on a performance-enhancing drugs ring that has a client list composed of professional athletes.

Stubblefield had a stellar start to his NFL career after being drafted by the 49ers back in 1993. After tallying 10.5 sacks and making three Pro Bowls during his time in San Francisco, he was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

After winning the Super Bowl XXIX, he signed with the Washington Redskins in 1998. Later, he made a comeback with the San Francisco 49ers. He played for the Oakland Raiders in 2003, and the New England Patriots in 2004 before he eventually got a career-ending injury.

The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs faced off for the Vince Lombardi Trophy at this year's Super Bowl GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Cliff Hawkins