EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Three Michigan State football players were charged Tuesday with criminal sexual conduct in connection with an incident that occurred on campus in January.
Arrest warrants signed by an Ingham County judge name Donnie Corley Jr., Demetric Vance and Josh King. It was not clear when they would be arraigned.
Corley and Vance face third-degree criminal sexual conduct charges. King is charged with first- and third-degree criminal sexual conduct and distributing an image of an unclothed person.
Coach Mark Dantonio dismissed all three players from the football program moments after the charges were made public.
“Sexual assault has no place in our community, and I want to share my deep concern for the young woman affected and her family,” Dantonio said in a statement. “This is an extremely challenging situation that we have taken very seriously and has affected everyone in this program.”
Michigan State scheduled an afternoon news conference with Dantonio and athletic director Mark Hollis.
Vance, 20, is a defensive back from Detroit. Corley, 19, is a receiver from Detroit. King, also 19, is a defensive end from Darien, Illinois.
Prosecutor Carol Siemon had earlier said three people were being charged in the incident, but their names were not disclosed until Tuesday in court when university police Detective Chad Davis described the allegations for District Judge Richard D. Ball in in East Lansing.
Attorney John Shea, who represents Corley, released a statement.
“It’s never a good day when a criminal charge is filed against you, but at least Mr. Corley knows what he is facing and can get on with the process of fighting it,” Shea said. “As appropriately noted by Prosecutor Siemon in her statement, the charge is only an accusation and Mr. Corley is presumed to be innocent. He maintains that, in fact, he is innocent, and we intend to demonstrate that in the coming proceedings.”
Karen Truszkowski, an attorney for the accuser, asked for privacy.
“This is not about football, and it’s not about this university,” she said. “It’s about four people that — this is dramatic and difficult for all of them. So that’s what I want people to keep in mind.”
Michigan State announced Feb. 9 that three players were suspended as part of a sexual assault investigation, but the school had not identified who they were until Tuesday. The lingering investigation — as well as a separate criminal sexual conduct charge in April against Michigan State football player Auston Robertson — have loomed over the athletic department. Robertson was dismissed from the team following the charge against him.
The problems in the football program come at a time when the school is also dealing with the fallout from allegations of sexual assault against Larry Nassar , a former MSU doctor who also worked for USA Gymnastics.
On Monday, Michigan State released a report from an external law firm that investigated the football program’s handling of the sexual assault allegations against its players. The investigation found no evidence that Dantonio violated the school’s policy on relationship violence and sexual misconduct. The report said Dantonio “took prompt and decisive action” with respect to the January incident that has led to the criminal charges against Corley, King and Vance.
The allegations at Michigan State have come after football programs at Baylor and Minnesota have been rocked by sexual assault allegations.
“Look how many arrests we have had for sexual assaults with football players,” Truszkowski said. “There’s a whole lot more out there. Is there a problem? You do the math, I guess.”