Three Michigan State football players accused of sexually assaulting a woman in an on-campus apartment have been dismissed from the team following arrest warrants ordered by a Michigan judge Tuesday.
In a statement, head coach Mark Dantonio said the players would no longer be on the team. They had first been suspended when the accusations emerged in February regarding a Jan. 16 sexual assault incident.
Joshua King, Demetric Vance and Donnie Corley were each charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct. King was additionally charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and third-degree capturing and distributing an image of an unclothed person.
“With the criminal sexual conduct charges filed against Josh King, Donnie Corley and Demetric Vance, I have decided that regardless of the final outcome of the criminal process, these three individuals have been dismissed from our program, effective immediately,” Dantonio said in a statement at a press conference Tuesday.
Det. Chad Davis, with the MSU police department, testified Tuesday morning that King asked the victim if she “wanted to speak somewhere quiet.” He stated that King eventually “pulled her into a bathroom” and “tried to get the victim to have sex with him,” the Lansing State Journal reported.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the three were initially suspended from the team Feb. 9, and Curtis Blackwell, the program’s director of college advancement and performance at the time, was also suspended with pay.
At the proceedings on Tuesday, attorney Mary Chartier said Vance had been falsely accused of rape and they would be fighting the charges, according to reporting by the State News, MSU’s student publication.
MSU is also conducting a Title IX investigation of the sexual assault allegations to be reported to the Office of Institutional Equity, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The charges come on the heels of a separate incident, when a fourth Michigan State football player, Auston Robertson, was charged with third-degree sexual misconduct in April and dismissed from the team.
The 2016 class was Michigan State's best by far in the internet era. Four members of that class have now been dismissed for sexual assault.— Tony Gerdeman (@TonyGerdeman) June 6, 2017
Nationally, this is the latest development in a spate of sexual assault cases involving collegiate athletes. In May 2016, multiple women filed lawsuits against Baylor University, saying Baylor mishandled, ignored or suppressed their claims of assault for years, including several cases involving football players.
And in December, four players were initially suspended from the University of Minnesota football team while police conducted an investigation into an alleged sexual assault which violated a school policy that defines sexual assault as anything without a “clear and unambiguous” expression of consent.
Michigan State University could not immediately be reached for comment.
Sophia Tulp is an Ithaca College student and a USA TODAY College intern.
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