Jury acquits Mateen Cleaves of sexual assault

5:03 PM ET

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FLINT, Mich. — A jury has acquitted former Michigan State basketball participant Mateen Cleaves on costs alleging he sexually assaulted a girl in a motel room 4 years in the past.

The decision introduced Tuesday in a Genesee County courtroom in Cleaves’ hometown of Flint got here after a virtually two-week trial that included the testimony of the Mount Morris lady, who advised jurors that she had wished to depart the motel room however Cleaves continued to power himself on her.

Proof towards Cleaves included a video that prosecutors contended confirmed the lady pulling away from Cleaves. Prosecutors argued she tried twice to flee from the motel room.

Cleaves didn’t testify. Certainly one of his attorneys, Frank Manley, mentioned Cleaves had consensual intercourse with the lady and that she was within the motel room “of her personal free will” after a charity golf event and go to to a bar. Cleaves’ attorneys advised jurors that the lady lied about what occurred as a result of she felt responsible about dishonest on her boyfriend.

Cleaves, 41, was acquitted on all costs, together with illegal imprisonment and assault with intent to commit prison sexual penetration. He had confronted a most of 15 years in jail had he been convicted.

Cleaves has lengthy denied the allegations, saying in a March 2016 tweet that he was “harmless and the allegations are with out benefit.”

The trial itself got here after a protracted authorized battle that began in late 2016 when a district choose dismissed the fees, saying that there have been various components that urged “one thing else was occurring” between Cleaves and the lady.

However in 2017, the fees have been reinstated after the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Workplace filed an attraction that contended the choose had abused her “discretion of energy” in dismissing the fees. Then final 12 months, the Michigan Supreme Courtroom refused to overview that call, clearing the best way for the trial.

Cleaves was an integral a part of a Michigan State staff that gained the nationwide championship in 2000 earlier than his six-year NBA profession.

Michigan State Tom Izzo was within the courtroom Tuesday. He advised The Detroit Information that he didn’t know the main points concerning the allegations towards his former participant, however he wished to be within the courtroom to assist Cleaves as he would “any of my guys.”

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