Former MSU basketball star Mateen Cleaves appears in court

Posted at 5:44 AM, Nov 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-16 07:25:19-05

A witness testified she heard a woman scream for help during the preliminary examination Tuesday of former Michigan State basketball star Mateen Cleaves.

Cleaves is facing rape charges after a golf outing on September 15, 2015. A 24-year-old Mount Morris woman told police she was assaulted by Cleaves.

The female witness testified she saw Cleaves and the alleged victim, both naked, outside a nearby room at the Knights Inn motel in Mundy Township. She said Cleaves had hold of the woman's hands and was trying to pull her back into the room.

She then called the motel manager and told her police should be notified. 

A short time later the witness said she heard a commotion right outside her door, which was located just down from Room 121, where the 24-year-old was staying that night.

She said upon opening the door, the woman was on her hands and knees, crying and asking for help. She testified Cleaves was standing over her, then picked her up and carried her back to the room. 

Motel surveillance video shown in the court room showed some of what took place that night, but the media was not allowed to view it.

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office is trying the case. Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton recused himself, citing a conflict of interest.

Cleaves has denied the sexual assault allegations. He said the sex between them was consensual.

If convicted, Cleaves could face up to 15 years in prison. Cleaves was a high school star at Flint Northern. He was a first round draft pick of the Detroit Pistons in the 2000 NBA draft.