Sex assault trial starts for former MSU hoops star Cleaves

FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2016, file photo, Mateen Cleaves walks out of the district court at Genesee District Court in Flint, Mich. Former Michigan State University basketball star Cleaves is standing trial on sexual assault charges in his Michigan hometown. Opening statements began Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, 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.

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FLINT, Mich. (AP) — An attorney for former Michigan State basketball star Mateen Cleaves says during his trial on sexual assault charges that consensual sex between two adults is not a crime.

Defense attorney Frank Manley made the comment Thursday in an opening statement in Cleaves' trial in Genesee County Circuit Court. Manley said the alleged victim was in a Flint area motel room with Cleaves in September 2015 "of her own free will."

Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Lisa Lindsey told the jury the woman told Cleaves she wanted to leave but he continued to force himself on the 24-year-old woman.

Cleaves is charged with criminal sexual conduct, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct and unlawful imprisonment in an incident that occurred after a charity golf event and a visit to a bar.

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

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

This article originally ran on apnews.com.

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