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Former MSU football staffer files lawsuit against Mark Dantonio, MSU police

Posted: 3:07 PM, Nov 13, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-14 05:47:03-05

A former Michigan State University football staffer who was suspended amid a sexual assault case involving three former players is suing head coach Mark Dantonio, MSU police detectives and others.

In a federal lawsuit filed Monday, attorneys for Curtis Blackwell claim MSU officials, "feeling the heat from the Larry Nassar cover-up, and eager to prove they were tough on cover-ups, ran roughshod over (Blackwell's) rights when he was wrongly accused of covering up for MSU athletes involved in an alleged sexual assault of a female co-ed in January 2017."

In addition to Dantonio, former athletic director Mark Hollis, former president Lou Anna K. Simon, and MSU Police Detectives Chad Davis and Sam Miller are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

"With no evidence, none, that Plaintiff covered up for the athletes, the MSU Police Department, in stormtrooper fashion cuffed (Blackwell); seized his personal and MSU cell phones and hauled him off to the MSU Police station", the lawsuit reads.

Blackwell was suspended amid a sexual assault investigation involving three former players in early 2017. The investigation led to charges being filed against Donnie Corley, Demetric Vance and Josh King. All three took a plea deal in the case earlier this year. MSU decided not to renew Blackwell's contract in May of 2017.

Records obtained by FOX 47 through a Freedom of Information Act Request show MSU Police wanted Blackwell to be charged with interfering with the sexual assault investigation. The documents show Blackwell admitted discussing the allegations with multiple players, football staff members and at least one player's father. He was never charged with a crime.

The lawsuit alleges Blackwell was suspended in violation of his employment agreement and was never given the opportunity to give his side of the story.

"Had they, (Blackwell) would have explained that he did not provide cover for the student athletes or interfere with an investigation; rather, he was simply performing his job which required 'mentoring student athletes'", the lawsuit states.

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.