4th warrant requested in Michigan State University football sexual assault investigation

3 university football players face allegations of rape

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EAST LANSING, Mich. - A fourth warrant request has been submitted to the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office as part of an investigation into sexual assault allegations against three Michigan State University football players. 

This fourth warrant request involves a university staff member, a spokesman at the prosecutor's office said. It is not for an alleged sex crime, like the other three warrant requests. Instead it is for the alleged obstruction of an investigation, which is a Michigan State University ordinance violation, the prosecutor's office said. 

University officials announced last week that they are investigating allegations of sexual assault against three football players. The three players have been suspended from team activities and removed from on-campus housing until the end of the investigation, police said. No one is being named until charges are announced. 

The Prosecutor's Office released this statement Thursday

"We anticipate that the MSU Police will submit further evidentiary materials later today. Following this, the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office will review all of the available evidence and information and make a review decision in the short-term future."

Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Siemon released a statement Thursday afternoon:

"Earlier today, our office received warrant requests from the MSU Police Department in a reported case of sexual assault, that occurred on the campus this past January. Detectives from the Michigan State University Police Department have conducted a thorough and professional investigation of this incident.

I have asked the MSU Police Department to continue that investigation and submit to our office additional information and evidence. Upon the review of those materials, I will determine a charging decision in this matter."

Detectives are interviewing members of the coaching staff and others regarding their response since the complaint was made in late January. One football team staff member has been suspended by the athletic department pending the completion of the investigation.

Separate from the criminal and Title IX investigations, the university administration is retaining an external law firm to investigate the football program staff members' compliance with university policy in connection with the allegations.

The university said it will take prompt action, if appropriate, in response to any policy violations in the investigation.

Michigan State Athletic Director Mark Hollis released the following statement:

"The core values of MSU Athletics are clear, consistently communicated and non-negotiable. Among them are respect for self and others, accountability for actions and choices, and integrity. Sexual assault is unacceptable, and members of MSU Athletics who fail to uphold our standards for creating a culture that is safe, supportive, and responsive to those affected by it will be held accountable. My expectation of all members of the department is full and complete cooperation with all investigations.

We have a strong athletics program at MSU, one based on values, traditions, and an understanding that as Spartans we are part of something bigger. Our promise to current and future student-athletes and to the entire Spartan community is to take the steps necessary, based on the facts determined through thorough review, to run this program according to the highest values and standards."

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