Prosecutor: No charges against 2 MSU football players accused of sexual assault

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

The Ingham County Prosecutor's Office will not prosecute two unnamed Michigan State University football players accused in January 2021 of sexually assaulting a female student. 

The Oct. 18 denial comes more than six months after Michigan State University police forwarded their investigative report to the prosecutor's office, Ingham County Prosecutor's office spokesman Scott Hughes confirmed Monday. The development was first reported by the Lansing State Journal.

Michigan State will host Washington at Spartan Stadium on Sept. 16, 2023.

A federal judge last week dismissed a case filed by one of the accused athletes because the player did not include his name in the filing and instead filed under "John Doe."

The athlete had filed against the university and its athletic department, arguing that his Title IX rights were violated when he was suspended from the football team during the investigation. 

Western District of Michigan U.S. District Court Judge Hala Jarbou dismissed the case Friday because the player's anonymity did not comply with "the need for open judicial proceedings." 

It is unclear whether the players will be able to rejoin the team now that charges have been denied and the criminal case effectively is closed. 

But university policy requires that reports of sexual assault on campus receive dual investigations — one conducted by MSU police and one conducted by the Office of Institutional Equity through the Title IX process. The status of the Title IX investigation is unclear.

The university declined Monday to comment on the case.

According to the player's lawsuit, a female student who was an intern with the football team alleged the plaintiff and another athlete assaulted her in January 2021. The plaintiff argued the relationship was consensual. 

Staff writer Matt Charboneau contributed.