Prosecutor to appeal dismissal of Cleaves’ rape case

Oralandar Brand-Williams

Two weeks after a Flint judge dismissed rape charges against former MSU hoopster Mateen Cleaves, the Wayne County prosecutor has filed notice to appeal the ruling.

Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Jason Williams filed a notice of appeal Monday with 7th Judicial Circuit Judge Archie Hayman in Genesee County.

After a preliminary hearing, “there is insufficient evidence on charges,” 67th District Judge Cathy Dowd ruled on Dec. 5. “This case is dismissed.”

“I’m just happy,” Cleaves told reporters, “to walk away from this a free man. I’m thankful for my wife, family and friends standing beside me and for a lawyer to fight for my life as if I was his own son.”

During the hearing, his defense attorney said Cleaves was fighting for his freedom. The charges stemmed from a 24-year-old Mount Morris woman’s claims that Cleaves dragged her back into a Mundy Township hotel room against her will and had sex with her.

A Mundy Township police officer testified the woman told him she she was not the victim of a crime when he got to a motel during the overnight hours Sept. 15, 2015.

The woman testified during the hearing she didn’t remember if there was sexual intercourse with Cleaves, but that “I kissed him a little bit.”

Cleaves had faced a possible trial on charges of unlawful imprisonment, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual penetration, second-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. He had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

"We are confident that Judge Dowd's well-reasoned and articulated decision will be affirmed on appeal and we are dismayed that the Wayne County Prosecutor 's Office have chosen to waste Genesee County taxpayer resources by pursuing this unnecessary appeal, said Cleaves' attorney Frank Manley.

(313) 222-2027

Staff Writer Mike Martindale contributed to this report.