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Cleaves’ lawyer disputes date rape drug accusations

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

The lawyer for former MSU basketball standout Mateen Cleaves is disputing published reports suggesting the former athlete used date rape drugs during an alleged sexual assault of a woman last year.

“If that was true don’t you think he would have been charged? It’s a blatant attempt to connect him to Bill Cosby or anyone else,” Flint attorney Frank Manley said Friday. “It’s blatantly and totally wrong.”

Manley blasted the MLive-The Flint Journal report and its court-ordered release. The search warrant affidavit should never have been released and he was not notified it would be, he added.

“Fairness would demand that a full hearing be held before this type of inflammatory information would be released to the public,” he said.

MLive-The Flint Journal reported the woman was taken to a suburban Flint motel where Cleaves, 38, allegedly sexually assaulted her and then twice dragged her back into the motel room when she tried to escape naked.

After the two arrived at the hotel room following a golf outing trip to a bar, Cleaves allegedly offered the woman a drink, which she says she sipped a small amount of, according to the MLive report, which it said was based on a search warrant affidavit from the Genesee District Court clerk’s office. Cleaves did not make himself a drink or have any from hers, according to the published report.

A month after the alleged incident, police searched Cleaves’ home looking for “date rape drugs,” including Ketamine, Rohypnol and GBH, according to the MLive report this week.

The woman is scheduled to testify June 28 during a preliminary examination for Cleaves about the alleged incident in September at the Knights Inn motel in the 2400 block of Grand Blanc. The 24-year-old Mount Morris woman’s face is expected to be shrouded during her testimony and Genesee District Judge M. Cathy Dowd has instructed members of the media not to release her name.

Cleaves was charged in March with sexual assault.

MLive reported police were dispatched to the Knights Inn to check on a report of a nude woman running around the property and being dragged back into a motel room.

The woman said in the affidavit, according to MLive, that she thought Cleaves was going to drop her off at a Grand Blanc-area golf course where she, her boyfriend and Cleaves had attended a charity golf outing. Instead, she said, Cleaves drove to the motel.

Police said the woman told them she tried to use a gas station clerk’s phone to call her boyfriend to come and get her. The boyfriend said he received a call but did not take it because he didn’t recognize the number.

The Detroit News’ general policy is to not name victims of sexual assaults.

Cleaves is upset about the published report, Manley added.

“Like anyone else, he’s presumed innocent,” he said.

Dowd has not decided whether to permit the showing of a videotape which allegedly backs up the woman’s accusations.

During Cleaves’ probable cause conference May 17, a Wayne County assistant prosecutor said her office has received information about another possible victim.

The case is being handled by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office after Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton recused himself, citing a conflict of interest.

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