A woman testified today that former Michigan State University basketball star Mateen Cleaves forced himself on her at a motel last year -- twice pulling her back into the room after she tried to leave.
"I wanted to go home," the woman testified during Cleaves' preliminary examination on sexual assault charges. The hearing started last month and continues today in Flint's 67th District Court. Court is in recess until 1:30.
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Cleaves, 39, of Grand Blanc is accused of sexually assaulting the woman, whom prosecutors have said he met in September 2015 at a golf outing, had drinks with and then took her to a Flint-area motel. Cleaves is facing one count each of unlawful imprisonment, assault with intent to commit sexual penetration and second-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
The alleged victim testified today that she met Cleaves at a golf course during a charity event and later texted him to invite him to a bar afterward. The woman, who the Free Press is not identifying, testified that she had drinks at the bar, including beer and lemon-drop shots, then got into Cleaves vehicle with the understanding they were going to Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club.
She testified that during the drive she asked Cleaves for a phone charger because her phone had died, but he said he didn't have one. When they stopped at a store, she asked the attendant to borrow a phone so she could call a man, who she testified she was supposed to riding home with later.
"We weren't at Warwick and I was concerned," she testified. The woman said; "I wanted to go home."
Instead, she testified, she ended up back at a motel with Cleaves, who she said started kissing her after she told him she had a boyfriend and wanted to go home. The woman testified Cleaves ended up on top of her on the bed, she pushed him off and ran out of the room, but Cleaves came out "and brought me back into the room."
She testified that they were back on the bed, Cleaves penetrated her, she pushed him off and again ran out of the room. She said she saw a woman staying in another room and mouthed "help me." The woman testified that Cleaves again pulled her back into the room. Asked if she went willingly, the woman said no.
She testified that the next thing she remembers is being in a room with the other motel guest who had called police.
The preliminary exam, which will determine whether the case proceeds to trial, is being held before Judge M. Cathy Dowd.
Witness who have so far testified during the hearing include a woman, who said she saw Cleaves pull a woman into a room against her will.
Detroit Free Press