Cleaves' attorney: 2nd victim claim is 'stink bomb'
Flint — Wayne County’s assistant prosecutor dropped a bombshell Tuesday in the case involving former MSU basketball standout Mateen Cleaves, saying her office has received information about another possible victim.
The allegation was made during a probable cause conference for Cleaves, who is accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a Mundy Township hotel last September.
Frank Manley, Cleaves’ defense attorney, denied Lisa Lindsey’s allegations, calling them a “stink bomb,” and said he was not aware of them until they were made in court.
“They are unsubstantiated,” Manley said after the hearing in 67th District Court in Flint, saying it’s part of the prosecutor’s effort to “smear” his client. “There’s not another victim out there. They have a weak case.”
Manley said there is money involved in the allegations against the 38-year-old Grand Blanc resident, but he did not elaborate.
Maria Miller, spokeswoman for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, said she could not comment on the case since it’s still under investigation.
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.
Manley said Cleaves did not show up at the brief hearing because he’s waiting for the victim to show up in court.
“Mr. Cleaves will be here when the other person is here,” Manley said.
A preliminary hearing was scheduled for 10 a.m. June 28 and is expected to last all day. The alleged victim is expected to testify.
Lindsey said she wants the woman’s face covered during the preliminary examination and her identify withheld. Manley is arguing against it.
“Show her face,” Manley said. He said Cleaves should be able to face his accuser. “The time has come for this young lady to come forward and be seen.”
Lindsey responded that Cleaves should have been in the courtroom Tuesday.
“How come he’s out in the hallway” she asked during a brief and dramatic scene inside the Flint courtroom.
The Detroit News’ general policy is to not name victims of sexual assaults.
A videotape of the alleged incident also might be shown during the preliminary examination at the request of the prosecutor. Judge Cathy Dowd said she will not allow the video to rebroadcast by news media. Screen grabs also will not be permitted by print media. Manley said he objects to the tape being shown. The judge said she will keep Lindsey’s and Manley’s concerns under advisement. 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.
Tuesday’s scheduled hearing followed three delays for court proceedings in the case. The adjournments were granted so lawyers could prepare for the hearing.
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.”
Earlier this month, a Mundy Township police officer said he was pressured to portray Cleaves as guilty of the charges, according to a civil lawsuit he filed May 4 in Genesee County Court.
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.