Monday, June 1, 2020

MSU football player suspended amid criminal sexual misconduct investigation in Meridian Twp.

April 13, 2017
Head coach Mark Dantonio leaves the stadium after the Green and White Spring Game on April 1, 2017 at Spartan Stadium. The White team defeated the Green team, 33-23.
Head coach Mark Dantonio leaves the stadium after the Green and White Spring Game on April 1, 2017 at Spartan Stadium. The White team defeated the Green team, 33-23. —

Update 2:29 p.m.: 

MSU head football coach Mark Dantonio released a statement regarding the alleged criminal sexual misconduct incident by a member of the MSU football team in Meridian Township. 

“We are aware of a sexual assault investigation in Meridian Township involving one of our players," Dantonio said in the statement. "That player was immediately suspended on Sunday from all team activities as soon as we were notified of the situation. We will continue to educate and enforce high standards for the program. I expect all of our players to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects the values and principles of Michigan State University. This investigation is an ongoing process. It is not appropriate at this time for me to comment further on this matter.”


Update 1:34 p.m.: 

The alleged criminal sexual misconduct incident by a member of the MSU football team in Meridian Township occurred on April 9, Ken Plaga, assistant police chief with the Meridian Township Police Department said.

Plaga said the department is releasing this information to reaffirm information released by the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office.

“Our concern is with the victim and making sure that we do a complete thorough investigation of this prior to having it reviewed by the (Ingham County) Prosecuting Attorney’s Office," Plaga said. "They have not seen our report. We have not taken anything to them yet. We are still in the midst of conducting our investigation and making sure that we do a thorough and complete investigation.”

Plaga also said Meridian Township Police Department will not be releasing any other information until after "warrants are obtained and suspects are apprehended and arraigned."


A fourth MSU football player is under investigation for criminal sexual misconduct. Jason Cody, an MSU spokesperson, confirmed this player has been suspended pending results of an investigation.

The incident occurred in Meridian Township and is currently under investigation, Scott Hughes, a spokesman for the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office, said. No report has been submitted to the prosecutor's office and nothing has been filed in court, Hughes said.

The incident is separate from an ongoing investigation into three MSU football players regarding an alleged sexual assault. The prosecutor's office is still reviewing evidence with this case, Hughes said.

MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon commented on the incident after Thursday's Board of Trustees meeting.

“Well, sexual assault by anyone or allegations concern me deeply," Simon said. "We’re working hard to treat student-athletes, in the case of the university, as any other student and in the case of athletics and the standard protocol for that team. I understand the student has been suspended by the coach pending the outcome of the investigation.”

MSU spokesperson Jason Cody said he could not comment on the investigation, but said MSU football coaches and "MSU leadership" are aware of the incident. Cody said the player has been suspended.

"It's my understanding that the football player in question has been suspended pending the results of the investigation," Cody said. "We have resources, we have processes in place to handle sexual assault issues. And as the president (Simon) said, from the processes standpoint, it doesn't matter whether it was a football player, a chemistry major, you know, anyone. It's someone who's part of our community, who's part of this process, and we have to let those processes play out."

A representative from Meridian Township Police was not available for comment at the time this story was published. 

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