EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State University football players Donnie Corley Jr., Demetric Vance and Josh King have been dismissed from the program while they face criminal sexual conduct charges.
The three players had been suspended from team activities pending a sexual assault investigation. Formal charges were announced this week. They are accused of sexually assaulting a woman Jan. 16 in an East Lansing apartment on Michigan State's campus.
King has been charged with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of capturing/distributing image of an unclothed person. Vance and Corley Jr. each are charged with one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Michigan State head football coach Mark Dantonio released this statement Tuesday:
“With the criminal sexual conduct charges filed against Josh King, Donnie Corley and Demetric Vance, I have decided that regardless of the final outcome of the criminal process, these three individuals have been dismissed from our program, effective immediately.
When we choose student-athletes to come to MSU, we enter into a relationship with them and their families, and we welcome them into ours. We emphasize that success on the field is not enough, as I made clear when all three individuals were suspended four months ago upon us learning of the allegations. They also must embrace our core principles, which include integrity, respect and accountability. The individuals in this case put themselves in a compromising position and did not live up to the standards we have outlined for our program.
Sexual assault has no place in our community, and I want to share my deep concern for the young woman affected and her family.
This is an extremely challenging situation that we have taken very seriously and has affected everyone in this program. The high standards I have established for this program will not change, and the values that we teach to everyone in this program will be enforced. I expect all of our players and staff to conduct themselves in a manner that reflect the ideals of this university.”
The campus police chief said his detectives worked "exhaustively" on this case.
"The MSU Police Department has zero tolerance for sexual assault," Michigan State University Police Chief Jim Dunlap said. "I’m confident that this extensive investigation was completed thoroughly, and our detectives worked diligently and exhaustively in providing information to the prosecutor’s office."
The Ingham County Prosecutor's Office said there will be no charges against a Michigan State football staff member who was released from the program in connection with the incident.
Curtis Blackwell, the director of college advancement and performance, was suspended the same day as the three players in the sexual assault investigation. His contract was not renewed last week.
Investigation into staff's response to sexual assault report
Michigan State released the results of a Jones Day investigation into the football staff's handling of the reported sexual assault incidents.
The investigation found that head coach Mark Dantonio correctly followed procedures outlined in Michigan State University's policy on relationship violence and sexual misconduct. In both instances -- one involving three players who were suspended for a January 2017 incident and the other involving former player Auston Robertson in April 2017 -- Dantonio was told about possible incidents involving players on his team, the report said.
The Jones Day report said Dantonio immediately contacted the school's Office of Institutional Equity and superiors in the athletic department, and didn't try to investigate the incidents on his own.
The report found that only one staff member violated the school's policy on relationship violence and sexual misconduct by learning about the possible incidents, failing to report them and investigating them on his own. The report also said the staff member talked about the incident with a family member of one of the players involved.
The three players charged in the January incident declined to be interviewed in the investigation on advice from their counsel.
3 players suspended from team activities
Michigan State University officials announced in February that they were investigating allegations of sexual assault against three football players.
The university said police were working with the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office, and after the investigation, they would forward their findings for review for possible charges.
The three players were suspended from team activities and removed from on-campus housing until the end of the investigation, police said.
MSU 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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