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Folks, I’m hoping you didn’t misplace your pitchforks and torches after attempting to run Reuben Foster out of town. It’s time to dip the rags in kerosene and light those suckers again.

Foster’s ex-girlfriend testified Thursday in a preliminary hearing at the Santa Clara Hall of Justice, and her testimony was every bit as incendiary as you imagined it might be. Full disclosure: I did not attend the hearing. I was flying back from Houston, where I had covered Games 1 and 2 of the NBA Western Conference final. By the time I landed in Oakland, the bombshells were already dropping in San Jose.

Here’s a quick summary, in case you weren’t surfing TMZ.

As her lawyer suggested she would, the ex-girlfriend, Elissa Ennis, recanted her accusations of domestic violence against Foster. But she did more than that. Ennis admitted that she made up the allegations (which included Foster punching her up to 10 times and puncturing her eardrum) specifically to ruin the linebacker’s NFL career; that she also stole money and jewelry from him; that she falsely accused another man of domestic violence in 2011, in Louisiana.

So many bombshells.

Foster will be back in court next Wednesday, at which point the judge will determine whether there is enough evidence to send the case to trial.

That seems like a long shot, doesn’t it? It’s one thing when an accuser backtracks on accusations; that is not uncommon in domestic violence cases, which are fraught with complications. It’s another thing when that accuser systematically dismantles her original claims, and offers video evidence (of a different altercation, involving Ennis and another woman) to back up the new story.

This case has been unpredictable from the outset. Alas, public reaction has not. We leaped into a swamp of conclusions the moment Foster was charged. And if we know anything about human nature, we’re about to do it again.

Remember when people occasionally waited for facts and analysis before forming unassailable opinions? Those days have gone the way of the rotary phone and the fullback.

Opinion massed against Foster when he was arrested on Feb. 11, and became a tsunami on April 12 when additional, salacious details emerged in the case. Many people argued that the 49ers should have released Foster on the spot. The charges were horrifying, after all. And why would the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office advance those charges against a local celebrity unless it had an airtight case?

Foster, who had already built a short list of minor offenses, became a marked man. And it was troublesome that many of the people speaking out on his behalf seemed either to (a) focus on his value to the 49ers as a football player or (b) reveal a general distrust of women.

The rush to judgment never made sense, though. I am absolutely certain that the vast majority of domestic violence charges have merit. Considering the shameful way victims of abuse have been, and still are, treated by the legal system, and the risks they incur by speaking up, you can bet that most of the accused are guilty as charged.

But whether 98 percent of DV charges are real, or whether it’s 99.5 percent or whatever, that’s still not certainty. The small sliver of doubt should have told us to wait for more facts before judging Reuben Foster. The 49ers were correct in suspending him from team activities as the case unfolded. It now appears they were correct in not severing ties with the young man.

Have we learned a valuable lesson here? No. Almost certainly not. It’s not our forte. Because as quick as we were to form a posse and ride after Foster, we’ll probably just turn the horses around and gallop in the opposite direction now, yee-hawing and firing our six-shooters in the air.

Ennis’ testimony Thursday was dramatic and shocking, and likely to alter Foster’s career path. But as you process it, please remember this simple edict: You and I still don’t know anything about what happened. We. Don’t. Know. Anything.

Or at least I don’t. Apparently, people on Twitter know plenty. By Thursday afternoon, my favorite electronic cafeteria-food-fight was filled with tweets about how vile Ennis is, and how untrustworthy women are in general.

It was like the pro-Foster constituency had been saving their breath for weeks, ready to let out a gust if things improved for their guy.

But I’m here to tell you that we still don’t know what happened between Reuben Foster and his girlfriend. We didn’t on Feb. 11, and we don’t now. And that has little to do with Foster, and everything to do with DV cases.

You might argue that the truth came to light Thursday in a San Jose courtroom. Ennis admitted she invented the whole episode. She provided detail. She cried out of remorse. Case closed. Forty-Niners offseason workout on May 22!

No, no, no. Ennis lied about something, but we don’t know whether it was to the DA, or to the judge on Thursday. It’s entirely possible that she is a terrible person, or simply a gold digger. It’s also possible that she is a victim of domestic abuse who has made accommodations with herself, and perhaps with Foster, to secure a better future.

Relationships are fraught. Human psychology is impenetrable. Victims sometimes stay with their abusers, or refuse to participate in their punishment. I wish they didn’t, but they do, and how can you judge them if you haven’t been there?

I’m not accusing Reuben Foster of hitting his girlfriend and paying her to keep quiet. I claim no inside knowledge here. Again, I’m just saying we don’t know what happened. We may never know. Foster wasn’t automatically a criminal when the DA brought charges. He isn’t automatically an innocent man now.

This isn’t a basketball series, where it’s acceptable — fun even — to shout “sweep!” after a victory in Game 1 and go into full-blown panic after a loss in Game 2. This is real life. These are real lives. Go ahead, form your opinions. But don’t pretend you know the truth yet.

This case might not go to trial, but the jury is still out on Reuben Foster.

You can reach columnist Phil Barber at 707-521-5263 or phil.barber@pressdemocrat.com. Follow him on Twitter: @Skinny_Post.

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