Mateen Cleaves' attorney files motion to disqualify prosecutor's - WNEM TV 5

Mateen Cleaves' attorney files motion to disqualify prosecutor's office

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Mateen Cleaves (Source: Wayne County Prosecutor's Office) Mateen Cleaves (Source: Wayne County Prosecutor's Office)

The attorney for former Michigan State basketball star Mateen Cleaves in his sexual assault case has filed a motion to disqualify the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

Attorney Frank Manley filed the motion in 67th District Court Tuesday morning.

Cleaves is accused of sexually assaulting a 24-year-old Mt. Morris woman at a motel on Sept. 15, 2015 following a charity golf event. A claim Cleaves has denied.

Manley believes a potential conflict of interest exists between the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and the victim.

"Fundamental fairness for Mr. Cleaves. These are things that were not turned over by the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office. This woman, this complainant, supposedly worked for the Wayne County Sexual Abuse Task Force," Manley said.

Manley claims the complaining witness in the case served as a member of the Wayne County Child Sexual Abuse Task Force. He told the judge the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office is the agency entrusted to prosecute sexual abuse cases in Wayne County and said there appears to be a past professional relationship between the Prosecutor's Office and the complaining witness.

Lisa Lindsey with the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office is handling the case after Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton recused himself due to a personal relationship with one of the witnesses.

Manley also calls into question the timing of the charges which he said were announced to coincide with the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

Cleaves led Michigan State to the NCAA basketball championship in 2000 and played for four NBA teams.

Manley called for not only the disqualification of the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, but the dismissal of the arrest warrant and charges brought by the disqualified prosecutor. 

The trial is scheduled to continue on July 29.

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