Judge dismisses sexual assault case against Cleaves - WNEM TV 5

Judge dismisses sexual assault case against Cleaves

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The judge overseeing the preliminary hearing between Mateen Cleaves, former Michigan State basketball star, and the woman accusing him of sexual assault, dismissed the case.

The woman testified she was sexually assaulted by Cleaves in a motel on Sept. 15, 2015.

The alleged victim said she met Cleaves at a golf event and was with him at a bar later that day. She had several drinks and left about 1 a.m. in a car with Cleaves. 

She said Cleaves was supposed to drive her back to the golf club, but they ended up at a motel and began kissing. 

"I wasn't comfortable with the situation," the alleged victim said during her testimony. "I wanted to leave." 

But that's when she said she tried to stop things, pushed Cleaves off of her and ran into the hallway. After that, she said things got heavier.

She said Cleaves began to have sex with her and she pushed him off again. 

"I saw a woman in the window of another room," she said. "I mouthed 'help me.'"

A witness at the motel testified Cleaves twice forced the woman back into the room.

DNA evidence submitted in the preliminary trial suggests sexual acts took place, but the question was whether or not it was consensual.

Mundy Township Police Sgt. Todd Johnson responded to the scene on the night in question. He testified in court on Friday.

"The victim said she wasn't a victim of a crime," Johnson said.

Johnson said Cleaves was not arrested that night, but he would have been if the officers believed he had assaulted the woman he was with.

Judge Cathy Dowd, of Flint, dismissed the case on Dec. 5, 2016 due to lack of evidence. She said she had questions about the alleged victim's credibility.

"She danced around whether or not she was taking drugs," Dowd said.

Dowd dismissed all five counts of criminal sexual conduct and false imprisonment against Cleaves.

Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Lisa Lindsey declined to comment.

Cleaves has denied any wrong-doing and said the sex between him and his accuser was consensual.

"I'm just thankful that my wife and my family and close friends stood by my side. And I'm thankful and very grateful that my lawyer fought for my life like I was his own son," Cleaves said.

Cleaves attorney Frank Manley issued the following statement:

We are thrilled that justice was served.”  We were confident that the facts of the case would allow justice to prevail.  Four police officers on the scene determined no assault or crime had been committed and the complainant also stated, “I was not assaulted” on the night of the event.   It just didn’t add up.    Judge Dowd’s ruling is supported by all the evidence and facts presented.

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