EAST LANSING, MICH. - Michigan State University dismissed three former football players from the university for their violations of the school's relationship violence and sexual misconduct policy, records show.
The former players — Josh King, Donnie Corley and Demetric Vance — are also facing criminal charges in connection to a reported campus sexual assault from January. A hearing is set for September.
The dismissals came at the completion of Title IX investigations MSU started shortly after the incident was reported to police and the university. In response to a public records request, the university provided a document to the State Journal that shows the violation and sanction imposed against King, Corley and Vance.
University spokesman Jason Cody said on Wednesday that the Title IX process for the three former players has been completed.
MSU Police believe that during a party in January, King invited the woman to "speak somewhere quiet," then "pulled" her into a bathroom and forced her to perform oral and vaginal sex, according to testimony from a hearing that led to charges. After that, Corley and Vance are each accused of forcing her to perform oral sex.
Police also allege that King recorded himself having sex with the victim.
The university announced in February that the players had been suspended from the team amid sexual assault investigations by the university and police. Head coach Mark Dantonio dismissed them from the team after they were arraigned on charges, saying the players "put themselves in a compromising position and did not live up to the standards" set for his program.
"After seeing the way the university handled the (Title IX) investigation and hearing Mr. Dantonio’s comments, Mr. Vance has no interest in attending the university," Mary Chartier, Vance's attorney, told the State Journal.
Shannon Smith, King's attorney, said the discovery material from police is more than 4,000 pages and 10 disks with interviews.
"That material was not considered by the investigator for the Title IX investigation," she told the State Journal in a text message. "Now that my office has had time to review the material, which contains very inconsistent stories by the complainant, I believe the university would have reached a different conclusion had they not rushed to judgement and (instead) completed a fair investigation."
She added that MSU's Title IX investigation process needs to change.
Federal law requires colleges and universities to conduct investigations of reported sexual assaults. These investigations are separate from and independent of police investigations. The colleges and universities use a lower burden of proof than the criminal justice system in determining whether a violation occurred.
"I think (the university) did a thorough investigation, and I’m not really surprised that they were dismissed, based upon the findings of the investigations,” said Karen Truszkowski, an attorney for the reported victim.
John Shea, Corley's attorney, did not return a message seeking comment.
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 university contracted Rebecca Veidlinger, a Title IX consultant and former interim director of MSU's Office of Institutional Equity, to conduct the Title IX investigations of the players.
A week after MSU hired Veidlinger, and a day after it announced the players had been suspended, the university hired the law firm Jones Day to conduct an independent investigation of the football program and its handling of the reported sexual assault.
The investigation cleared Dantonio of any potential wrongdoing, but determined that there was evidence Curtis Blackwell, who at the time of the reported assault was a football staff member, had violated university policy. The university had suspended Blackwell in February.
University police wrote in a police report that Blackwell interfered with their investigation by speaking with two of the players later identified as suspects days after the reported sexual assault and not telling police or the university he did so.
Police submitted a request for charges to the Ingham County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, which declined to charge Blackwell.
In May, Dantonio decided not to renew Blackwell’s contract, which was set to expire May 31 after twice being extended a month at a time.
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