MSU boots football trio amid sex charges
East Lansing — Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio opted to not wait for the courts to decide the fates of three players charged with sexual assault Tuesday.
Instead, Dantonio kicked Josh King, Demetric Vance and Donnie Corley Jr. off the team shortly after the charges were announced.
“I’m angry,” Dantonio said during a news conference addressing the dismissals. “I don’t want to say betrayed. I’m angry. I feel like the education was there. I feel like I’ve talked about the sense of responsibility that our players have — not to be a good football player, but to be a good person, to do their very best.”
In 54B District Court, King was charged with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of capturing/distributing image of an unclothed person. Vance and Corley each were charged with one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. Vance was arraigned Tuesday, King and Corley on Wednesday.
“The MSU Police Department has zero tolerance for sexual assault,” MSU Police Chief Jim Dunlap said in a statement. “I’m confident that this extensive investigation was completed thoroughly, and our detectives worked diligently and exhaustively in providing information to the prosecutor’s office.”
The alleged incident occurred on Jan. 16 at University Village apartments on the MSU campus.
“This is going to be a very difficult day for my client,” said attorney Karen Truszkowski, who is representing the alleged victim. “She’s doing the best that she can, but I’m sure it’s going to be really difficult when she finds out what has been put on the public record. It’s not going to be easy.”
Dantonio announced the move to dismiss the three players in a statement shortly after they were charged.
“When we choose student-athletes to come to MSU, we enter into a relationship with them and their families, and we welcome them into ours,” Dantonio said in the statement.
“We emphasize that success on the field is not enough, as I made clear when all three individuals were suspended four months ago upon us learning of the allegations. They also must embrace our core principles, which include integrity, respect and accountability. The individuals in this case put themselves in a compromising position and did not live up to the standards we have outlined for our program.
Dantonio said he wanted to share his “deep concern” with the alleged victim and her family.
“This is an extremely challenging situation that we have taken very seriously and has affected everyone in this program,” he said. “The high standards I have established for this program will not change, and the values that we teach to everyone in this program will be enforced. I expect all of our players and staff to conduct themselves in a manner that reflect the ideals of this university.”
MSU Police detective Chad Davis detailed the alleged assault at the arraignment.
According to Davis’ statement, the alleged victim reported to MSU Police on the morning of Jan. 17 that she was sexually assaulted at a party in the University Village apartments.
She said King pulled her into a bathroom and that King tried to get her to have sex with him, and she told him no. She said King forced her to perform oral sex on him, according to Davis’ statement. King then allegedly pulled her pants down and sexually assaulted her.
According to Davis’ statement, the alleged victim said King then let two friends in the bathroom and that she was forced to perform oral sex on them. The alleged victim said she eventually collapsed to the floor and all three suspects left the bathroom.
King originally denied having any sexual contact with anyone at the party, Davis said, and a search warrant was obtained for King’s cellphone. According to Davis, King’s phone had a video of King having sex with the alleged victim in the bathroom.
According to Davis, King’s phone also had a text message thread among King, Corley and Vance indicating involvement in the alleged sexual assault.
Davis said that Corley and Vance also initially denied having sexual contact with anyone at the party. Davis added that Corley and Vance both later admitted to receiving oral sex in the bathroom from the alleged victim.
During his arraignment, Vance was accompanied by his lawyer, Mary Chartier, his parents, two other family members and the bishop from his congregation.
The prosecutor requested bond at $50,000, but Vance’s attorney appealed to Judge Richard D. Ball.
“Mr. Vance has no criminal history,” Chartier said in court. “He voluntarily cooperated with police, he voluntarily showed up here today. He has no interest in speaking to the complainant. … Mr. Vance is certainly not a flight risk, nor is he a danger to the community.
“He believes he will be exonerated. He has no interest in fleeing. This is a young man with a stellar record who wants to clear his name in the court of law. He currently is living at home and is looking for a new university to attend.”
Ball set the bond at $10,000, with 10 percent to be paid Tuesday. Vance is not to have contact with the alleged victim.
Corley had the biggest impact on the field as a freshman, earning Freshman All-American honors by the Football Writers Association of America as a wide receiver while being named to the All-Big Ten Freshman teams by BTN.com and ESPN.com.
A state champion at Detroit King as a senior in 2015, Corley had 33 catches for 453 yards and three touchdowns in 2016. The 453 receiving yards were the most by a true freshman in Michigan State history, and his 33 catches were second-most by a true freshman. Corley also had five tackles while seeing action in four games at cornerback.
Corley was the No. 70 overall prospect in the nation coming out of King, according to Rivals.com. He played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and was named the U.S. Army National Player of the Year. He capped his high school career by catching the winning touchdown as time expired in King’s victory over Lowell.
King, of Darien, Ill., played in nine games as a freshman and started twice at defensive end, recording 10 tackles, including 1.5 for loss. Entering Michigan State, King was one of top prospects in the nation, rated No. 55 overall by Rivals.com. He was the top player in the state of Illinois, according to Rivals and 247sports.com while being ranked No. 2 by ESPN. He also played in the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl and was chosen Illinois Defensive Player of the Year by USA Today.
Vance, a defensive back who starred at Detroit Cass Tech, redshirted last season after a prep career that included a spot on the Associated Press All-State team and a spot in the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
None of the three players participated in the spring game on April 1 when a total of 15 players on the roster did not dress. Dantonio did not address the status of Corley, King and Vance at the time.