Sports

Michigan State Football Dismisses Three After Sexual Assault Charges

The charges stem from an incident during a party at an on-campus apartment in January.
June 6, 2017, 4:30pm
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Josh King, Donnie Corley, and Demetric Vance were dismissed from Michigan State's football team on Tuesday after warrants were issued for their arrest based on charges alleging sexual assault.

As first reported by the Lansing State Journal, the charges stem from a January 16th party at an on-campus apartment. According to testimony provided by Chad Davis, a detective with MSU's police department, King pulled an unnamed woman at the party into a bathroom where he "forced [her] to perform oral sex on him" and then "pulled her pants down" to rape her vaginally. The victim was then forced to perform oral sex on Vance and Corley at separate times in the bathroom.

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Per Davis, all three players admitted to having sexual contact with the victim after initially denying having sexual contact with anyone at the party. Police also found a video recording of the assault on King's phone. The woman told police that she was unaware of the video being taken and did not give consent to be recorded. Finally, police uncovered what they termed a "suspicious" text message thread between the three players and a fourth unnamed Michigan State player that seemed to implicate their "involvement in the sexual assault."

King, a sophomore defensive end, is charged with one count of first degree criminal sexual assault, one count of third degree criminal sexual assault, and capturing an image of an unclothed person. Corley, a sophomore wide receiver, and Vance, a redshirt freshman defensive back, each face one count of third degree criminal sexual assault. If convicted, King could face up to life in prison, while Corley and King could each face 15-year sentences.

Curtis Blackwell, the program's director of college advancement and performance, was initially suspended along with the three players back in February. His contract, which expired at the end of May, was not renewed. On Monday, a report released by a law firm the school hired to investigate its handling of sexual assault cases found evidence that he violated university policy.

Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio released a statement on Tuesday that read, in part, "Sexual assault has no place in our community, and I want to share my deep concern for the young woman affected and her family… 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."

Corley finished his freshman season with 453 receiving yards and three touchdowns, each good for second-most on the Spartans' roster. King, meanwhile, recorded 10 tackles in six games. According to Rivals.com, they were Michigan State's top two recruits in the 2016 recruiting class.