Cleaves’ sexual assault exam set to begin Tuesday

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

The preliminary examination for former Michigan State basketball star Mateen Cleaves on rape charges is set for Tuesday, Flint District Court officials announced Wednesday.

The proceedings are expected to last three days.

The charges are in connection with an allegation by a Flint-area woman that 39-year-old Cleaves sexually assaulted her in a Mundy Township hotel last September.

There have been delays in the case after Cleaves’ defense attorney, Frank Manley, asked to have the Wayne County Prosecutor’ s Office removed from the case. Wayne County prosecutors are handling the case after Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton recused himself, citing a conflict of interest.

The alleged victim is expected to testify. Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Lisa Lindsey wants the woman’s face covered during the preliminary examination and her identify withheld. Manley has argued against it.

“Show her face,” said Manley during a previous court hearing on the charges. He said Cleaves should be able to face his accuser. “The time has come for this young lady to come forward and be seen.”

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

A videotape of the alleged incident also may be shown during the preliminary examination at the request of the prosecutor. Judge Cathy Dowd, who is presiding over the case, said she will not allow the video to be rebroadcast by the media and also forbade screen grabs. The media also will not be allowed to show the victim’s face.

Cleaves has been charged with an alleged sexual assault in September of a 24-year-old Mount Morris woman.

The rape allegations were denied in a March 16 tweet on Mateen Cleaves’ Twitter page, which read: “My family and I are devastated by these false charges. I am innocent and the allegations are without merit.”

In June, a Mundy Township police officer said he was pressured to portray Cleaves as guilty of the charges, according to a civil lawsuit the officer filed in Genesee County Court last May. Brian Ogle alleges he was disciplined for reporting violations of state law by the township and its police department to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. Ogle is suing under the Whistleblower Protection Act.

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