FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Former Michigan State basketball star Mateen Cleaves will face trial on sexual assault charges after a judge reversed a decision and reinstated the case Monday.
Genesee County Judge Archie Hayman said he’s not judging whether Cleaves is innocent or guilty of assaulting a woman at a Flint-area motel in 2015.
“This court is here merely to decide whether or not there is enough evidence for this case to go to trial,” Hayman said.
The legal standard to send someone to trial in Michigan is probable cause. It’s a lower threshold than beyond a reasonable doubt. District Court Judge M. Cathy Dowd had dismissed the case in December after hearing days of testimony.
“I think it was a disservice both to the victim and to Mr. Cleaves that she did not provide proper analysis and record it,” Hayman said of Dowd.
Cleaves, 39, is charged with unlawful imprisonment, assault with intent to commit sexual penetration, second-degree criminal sexual conduct and third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
A witness testified that she saw the woman try to escape a room at a Knights Inn. But a police officer summoned to the motel said the woman never indicated that she was assaulted.
The woman testified in December that she never said “no” to Cleaves “but I told him I wanted to go home.” They met at a golf event that day, and she later sent him a text message to join her and others at a bar.
Defense attorney Frank Manley has called it a case of “regret,” not “rape.”
Cleaves, a Flint native, led Michigan State to the NCAA basketball championship in 2000 and appeared in 167 games with four NBA teams.