Jury acquits ex-MSU basketball star Mateen Cleaves

Mateen Cleaves walks out of building

In this Dec. 5, 2016 photo, Mateen Cleaves walks out of the district court at Genesee District Court in Flint, Mich. (Mark Felix/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A jury has acquitted former Michigan State basketball star Mateen Cleaves of sexual assault and other charges.

The verdict Tuesday by the jury in Cleaves’ hometown of Flint comes nearly four years after a then-24-year-old woman accused Cleaves of sexually assaulting her in a Flint area motel room.

The woman testified that she wanted to leave but that Cleaves continued to force himself upon her.

Cleaves didn’t testify, but his attorney contended that the woman was in the motel room “of her own free will.”

The 41-year-old Cleaves was charged with unlawful imprisonment, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual penetration and other charges. He had faced up to 15 years in prison had he been convicted.

Cleaves led Michigan State to the NCAA basketball championship in 2000 and played for four NBA teams.

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