Mateen Cleaves arraigned on sex assault charges

Posted at 12:05 PM, Mar 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-16 17:18:25-04

Former MSU basketball star Mateen Cleaves was quietly arraigned Wednesday morning on sexual assault and false imprisonment charges.

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office had requested that the arraignment be held Thursday, but the court decided to go ahead with the arraignment a day earlier, catching the media and public off guard. Cleaves received $150,000 personal bond and will be back in court on March 29 for a probable cause hearing.

Prosecutor Worthy said,” I don't know how they do things in Genesee County but we try our best to be as transparent as possible when my office is involved. We do not approve of secret proceedings unless it is proscribed by law. There was an agreement with all of the parties that the defendant would turn himself in and be arraigned in open court‎ tomorrow - not for him to have a back door arraignment. The public has a right to know and frankly, I am extremely disappointed that this was handled so clandestinely today. I hope this is not a precursor of things to come."

Prosecutors say the sexual assault took place during the early morning hours of September 15 of last year.

They say Cleaves took a 24-year-old woman to a motel, which we've learned was the Knights Inn on Grand Blanc Road, after co-hosting a charity golf event earlier in the day.

Someone claiming to be a witness tells 7 Action News she was there the night Mateen Cleaves allegedly sexually assaulted the woman in Mundy Township.

The witness told 7 Action News that the woman tried escaping Room 121 three times, running outside with little to no clothes, but was allegedly chased down by a naked Cleaves.The witness also claimed it was all caught on surveillance video.

We talked to the owner of the motel, who confirmed detectives looked at surveillance, but wouldn't say if it led to any evidence.

Cleaves' attorney says he's innocent, claiming the witness we talked to has no credibility. Frank Manley called the charges for sex assault and unlawful imprisonment outrageous.

He also wondered how the former MSU basketball star and Detroit Pistons draft pick will ever get his reputation back.

Wayne County is now handling the case, and we're told it did its own investigation from scratch. The case will still be held in Genesee County.

We've also learned renowned criminal defense attorney Steve Fishman is on the case.