Sex assault trial starts for former MSU hoops star Cleaves

Mateen Cleaves in court, August 2017

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Former Michigan State University basketball star Mateen Cleaves is standing trial on sexual assault charges in his Michigan hometown.

Opening statements began Thursday in Genesee County Circuit Court in Flint, where Cleaves is charged with criminal sexual conduct, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct and unlawful imprisonment. He’s accused of assaulting a 24-year-old woman after a charity golf event and a visit to a Flint-area bar in 2015.

A district judge dismissed the charges in 2016, but a circuit court reinstated them on appeal.

Michigan’s Court of Appeals in 2017 denied Cleaves’ request to review the decision reinstating the charges. Michigan’s Supreme Court declined last year to review that decision.

Cleaves led Michigan State to the NCAA basketball championship in 2000 and played for four NBA teams.

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