Prosecutor: 3 MSU football players to face sexual assault charges

Three Michigan State University football players are facing sexual assault charges for an alleged incident that happened in January.

EAST LANSING, MICH. - Three Michigan State University football players will face sexual assault charges in connection with a January on-campus incident involving a female student, officials said.

The decision was announced in a release from Ingham County Prosecuting Attorney Carol Siemon's office late Monday, which said charges have been authorized.

The authorization means police can now obtain arrest warrants from a judge or magistrate. A clerk in 54B District Court in East Lansing said that will not happen Monday.

Siemon's office did not release the names of those who will be charged.

"I have decided to authorize sexual assault charges against the three persons whose warrants were requested by the MSU Police," Siemon said in a statment. "We are alleging that on the night of January 16, those three persons sexually assaulted a woman in an East Lansing apartment on campus."

MSU announced Feb. 9 that three football players and a staffer "associated with the football program" had been suspended while the university's police department investigated sexual assault allegations. MSU has not released the players' names.

After the Jan. 16 incident, MSU announced Feb. 9 that three unnamed football players and a staffer "associated with the football program" had been suspended while the university's police department investigated sexual assault allegations.

The next day, Ingham County Probate Judge Richard Garcia granted a woman’s request for personal protection orders against the three players.

Protective orders use a standard form, and on all three orders a box is checked that reads: "The petitioner has a reasonable apprehension of sexual assault because the respondent has sexually assaulted the petitioner or threatened the petitioner with sexual assault."

The orders remain in effect for one year and prevent the players from following or approaching the woman or communicating with her, among other restrictions.

The woman’s petitions for the protection orders, which likely detail her reasons for seeking them, were sealed by Garcia "given the high profile nature of the respondents."

Curtis Blackwell, the director of college advancement and performance, was suspended on Feb. 9, the same day a staff member and the three players were suspended for their role in the alleged sexual assault.

Last month, head coach Mark Dantonio decided not to renew Blackwell’s contract, which was set to expire May 31 after twice being extended a month at a time.

Siemon said in her release on Monday that the former staff member whom the university suspended will not face criminal charges.

"Our office also reviewed charges against an individual who previously worked for the Michigan State University football program," Siemon said in the statement. "This did not concern any allegation of criminal sexual conduct. After review, I have declined to issue charges and no warrant will be issued. It is our practice not to release names of suspects in denied cases."

Lansing State Journal


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