DETROIT – The sexual-assault case against former Michigan State and Detroit Pistons star Mateen Cleaves was dismissed Monday in Flint.
Judge Cathy Dowd's ruling means that the long and contentious preliminary hearing will not lead to a trial.
"We are thrilled that justice was served," said Cleaves' attorney, Frank Manley, in a statement. " 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."
After hearing the closing arguments, Down decided the accuser initiated her meeting with Cleaves and voluntarily left the bar with Cleaves and wound up at the motel. She said the accuser's own testimony didn't provide enough evidence for her to believe this was a case of unlawful imprisonment or sexual assault.
"I am grateful to my wife, my friends and family, my lawyers Frank Manley and Danielle McCluskey, and my community for their unwavering support," Cleaves said in a statement. "I am thankful that justice was served."
The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office announced Monday it will appeal Dowd's decision. The appeal will be filed in the next 21 days.
Cleaves' accuser took the stand last week in the sexual assault case against the former basketball player.
The woman said that after having drinks with Cleaves at a bar, she left with him, thinking he was driving her back to the golf course. Instead, they ended up at a motel, where she said Cleaves forced himself on her, even dragging her back into the motel room when she tried to get away.
"I ran out of the room," she said. "He came out of the room a second time. I mouthed, 'Help me.'"
The defense asked for all charges to be thrown out because the accuser didn't initially tell investigators about being sexually assaulted.
The hearing wrapped up Monday, with the judge deciding Cleaves will not stand trial.
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