Judge denies appeal made by former MSU star

A judge denied an appeal made by former Michigan State University basketball star Mateen Cleaves to have a prosecutor removed from his sexual assault case.

Cleave's defense team says prosecutor Kym Worthy may have a conflict of interest.

They say the alleged victim worked for a county task force that Worthy's office may have also been involved with, but the county says the task force never existed and there is no record of the alleged victim working for the county.

Cleave's attorney says the prosecution team showed outright bias by sending a news release without saying Cleave's was innocent until proven guilty.

"Someone who doesn't have an appearance of impropriety, someone who's not going to send out a press release that says everything that Mr. Cleaves allegedly did and leaves out the fact that he is presumed innocent," said Frank Mantley, Cleave's attorney. "That's a very important bedrock principal that you enjoy, I enjoy and certainly Mr. Cleaves should enjoy."

The victim says she rode with Cleaves in his car after a charity golf outing with friends in 2015. She says he drove her to a motel and then sexually assaulted her. 

The case will now continue in district court where it left off. 

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