Michigan State football player Auston Robertson charged with sex assault

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) - A Michigan State University football player has been charged with sexual assault after an investigation from Meridian Township police.

Auston Robertson, 19, is charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct in the case.

Robertson was suspended from the team after the incident on Sunday, April 9, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio released this statement to the Free Press after the suspension.

“We are aware of a sexual-assault investigation in Meridian Township involving one of our players. That player was immediately suspended on Sunday from all team activities, as soon as we were notified of the situation,” Dantonio said. “We will continue to educate and enforce high standards for the program. I expect all of our players to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects the values and principles of Michigan State University. This investigation is an ongoing process. It is not appropriate at this time for me to comment further on this matter.”

He expanded on that statement later in the day Friday, issuing this release:

The criminal sexual conduct charges announced today against Auston Robertson are of the most serious nature. Sexual assault has no place in our community. While there is an ongoing criminal process, we’re extremely disappointed that Auston put himself in this position. He is no longer a member of our football program.

Due to the charges he was facing during his recruitment, we took precaution in allowing Auston to be a part of our football program, including a thorough vetting, which we acknowledged publicly at his signing. This was a multiple-step process that continued through his final admission in the summer.

Following his arrival on campus, he underwent an extensive educational process with specific prerequisites put in place for his participation as a student-athlete. This included daily supervised sessions within the football program and regular meetings with university staff addressing appropriate behavior and developmental growth. He also successfully completed his one-year diversionary program as directed by the court, which included a 22-week course focused on behavior changes that began in Indiana and was transferred to the state of Michigan (Prevention and Training Services). Despite these measures, Auston broke our trust and expectations by putting himself in a compromising situation.

Our players are representatives not only of themselves and their families, but also Michigan State University, this football program and all of those who support us. We will continue to emphasize and enforce the high standards of integrity, respect and accountability that I have for everyone in this program. We expect all of our players to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects the values and principles of this university.

This investigation is separate from the other investigation where three players and a staffer were suspended due to a sexual assault probe in January.

On Feb. 28, Dantonio spoke to the media on the case, saying he thinks football is not "important enough to talk about."

Robertson was a sophomore defensive end for the Spartans and played in seven games in 2016. He went to Wayne High School in Fort Wayne, Ind., according to the Michigan State Spartans website.

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