A jury in Flint, Mich., acquitted former Michigan State and NBA player Mateen Cleaves on charges alleging he sexually assaulted a woman in a motel room four years ago.
The verdict announced Tuesday in a Genesee County courtroom in Cleaves’ hometown came after a nearly two-week trial that included the testimony of the Mount Morris woman, who told jurors that she had wanted to leave the motel room, but Cleaves continued to force himself on her.
Evidence against Cleaves included a video that prosecutors contended showed the woman pulling away from Cleaves. Prosecutors argued she tried twice to escape from the motel room.
Cleaves did not testify. One of his attorneys, Frank Manley, said Cleaves had consensual sex with the woman who was in the motel room “of her own free will” after a charity golf tournament and visit to a bar. Cleaves’ attorneys told jurors that the woman lied about what happened because she felt guilty about cheating on her boyfriend.
Cleaves, 41, was acquitted on all charges, including unlawful imprisonment and assault with intent to commit criminal sexual penetration. He had faced a maximum of 15 years in prison.
Cleaves has long denied the allegations, saying in a March 2016 tweet that he was “innocent and the allegations are without merit.”
Ex-baseball players linked to drug ring
Authorities in the Dominican Republic have arrested former A’s pitcher Octavio Dotel and cited ex-infielder Luis Castillo for their alleged links to a drug-trafficking and money-laundering ring, officials said.
Dominican Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez said police are also actively pursuing the alleged leader of the ring, Cesar Emilio Peralta, also known as “Cesar the Abuser.” Castillo — not the current Cincinnati Reds’ pitcher — has not been arrested.
He said Peralta created a complicated system of companies to hide the origins of his assets, using members of his family and social circles, “including two sports figures in the Dominican Republic.”
Rodriguez said the U.S. government and police agencies participated in the investigation.
Castillo was a three-time All-Star, won three Gold Gloves and was a member of the 2003 Florida Marlins team that won the World Series.
There was no immediate comment from Dotel, who set a record for playing on more MLB teams than any other player.
WNBA: Tina Charles had 23 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks to help the visiting New York Liberty beat the Indiana Fever 82-76. … Diamond DeShields led five Chicago starters in double figures with 17 points, helping the visiting Sky beat the Atlanta Dream 87-83. … A’ja Wilson scored host Las Vegas’ first nine points of overtime as the Aces defeated Phoenix 84-79. The Mercury got 24 points apiece from Brittney Griner and DeWanna Bonner. … Candace Parker scored 20 points as the host Los Angeles Sparks beat the Minnesota Lynx 81-71. Lexie Brown scored 20 points for the Lynx.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Ex-Michigan-State-player-Mateen-Cleaves-acquitted-14365574.php.