Ingham County says three people will face sexual assault charges relating to January complaint

Posted at 4:01 PM, Jun 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-06 10:00:36-04

The Ingham County Prosecutor's Office has announced that three people will face charges after they conducted an investigation of sexual assault allegations in January of 2017. The office would not confirm that the three people charged are three MSU football players who have been suspended from the Spartan football team.

The investigation stems from the report of a sexual assault complaint filed by a woman over an incident at University Village apartments in late January. Three MSU football players were suspended from all team activities and removed from on-campus housing while waiting for the results of an investigation by MSU Police.

In February, MSU police requested an arrest warrant from the Ingham County Prosecutor's office for felony Obstruction of Justice. That warrant was not for a football player.

Curtis Blackwell, the university's director of college advancement and performance was suspended with pay in February, but MSU officials have not said he was involved in the January incident. The university chose not to renew his contract when it expired on May 31, 2017

MSU police finished their investigation in March of 2017, and turned over their findings to Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Siemen. She asked them to continue their investigation, and turn in more evidence.

Football coach Mark Dantonio addressed the media about the investigation into the sexual assault allegations on March 28, saying part of his job is to lead the team through difficult times, and that the football staff works to help steer students away from trouble,

Michigan State also conducted a Title IX investigation of the sexual assault allegations while the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office conducted its criminal investigation.

After completing their investigation, the university found the football players violated the school's Title IX policy. They could face disciplinary actions that could include different measures from restriction of class enrollment to dismissal from the university.

The students have the right to appeal any disciplinary action the board decides. The Title IX investigation was conducted separately from the criminal investigation by the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office.

The names of the players are not being released at this time.

MSU released a report prepared by an external law firm the university hired, who conducted an independent investigation into the football program staff member's compliance with university policy in connection with the sexual assault allegations. That report is included in this article. You can read it by clicking the link at the beginning of this story.