According to a Michigan State trustee, former Spartan Auston Robertson was the player who first informed coach Mark Dantonio of an incident that’s led to sexual assault charges against three former players.
Robertson was dismissed from the team in April after he was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct. He’s accused of walking a woman to her apartment the evening of April 9 to ensure that she got home safely and then having sex with her despite her refusal.
Tuesday, Michigan State dismissed Donnie Corley, Josh King and Demetric Vance after they were charged with sexually assaulting a woman in January. King is accused of going into a bathroom and forcing a woman to have sex with him before Corley and Vance entered and had oral sex with the woman against her will. All three players entered not guilty pleas Wednesday.
School trustee Mitch Lyons appeared on WBBL in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Tuesday afternoon and said Robertson met with coach Mark Dantonio in January and told him about the incident with the three players.
“When Auston Robertson came into his office for a regular weekly meeting, Coach D asked the regular questions he typically asked him and he became a little emotional — he didn’t go into any details he just alluded to the fact that something happened,” Lyons said. “And Coach D had a sense that it involved some sort of sexual allegation and he immediately said ‘Hey, don’t say any more.’”
An attorney for Robertson told MLive.com that he could neither confirm nor deny that his client was the player who told Dantonio about the incident.
Lyons’ telling of the story lines up with the details released in a report from an independent investigation into the school’s handling of the accusations. The investigation said Dantonio didn’t know details of what he was being told but became concerned after an unnamed player said that he had to get the woman “out of there” because she was his friend.
Per the report, Dantonio then called the school’s director of the Office of Institutional Equity to get the university reporting process started. The report said Dantonio and members of the athletic department handled the allegations against Corley, King and Vance appropriately and promptly. The players were suspended in February.
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