Ex-MSU football players, prosecutors exploring plea deals in sex assault cases

LANSING, MICH. - Three former Michigan State University football players accused of sexual assault are exploring plea deals, said an attorney representing one of the players.

Joshua King, Donnie Corley and Demetric Vance each face sexual assault charges stemming from an incident during a party at a campus apartment in January.

The trio is awaiting trial in Ingham County Circuit Court and had a pretrial conference scheduled for Oct. 25, but officials have now scheduled a Cobbs hearing for Friday morning.

Shannon Smith, who represents King, said prosecutors have offered a plea deal but no agreement is in place. She declined to discuss the specifics of the deal and said attorneys on both sides need to explore the possibility of reaching plea deals on the charges.

In what is known as a Cobbs agreement, defendants in Michigan sometimes reach plea deals with prosecutors that specify a maximum sentence. A judge can advise a defendant on what their likely sentence would be, but judges are free to change their mind after reviewing pre-sentence information or other factors. If the judge's planned sentenced is going to exceed the agreed-upon cap, a defendant has the right to withdraw his or her plea.

King, 19, of Darien, Illinois, is charged with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, as well as with capturing an image of an unclothed person. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Corley, 19, and Vance, 20, both of Detroit, are charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct. They each face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

The former players, who had been suspended from the team during the police investigation, were dismissed from the football team after they were charged. They were also dismissed from MSU following university Title IX investigations.  

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© 2017 Lansing State Journal


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