Three Michigan State University football players will face sexual assault charges in connection with a January on-campus incident involving a female student, officials said.
The decision was announced in a release from Ingham County Prosecuting Attorney Carol Siemon’s office late Monday, which said charges have been authorized.
The authorization means police can now obtain arrest warrants from a judge or magistrate. A clerk in 54B District Court in East Lansing said that will not happen Monday.
Siemon’s office did not release the names of those who will be charged.
“I have decided to authorize sexual assault charges against the three persons whose warrants were requested by the MSU Police,” Siemon said in a statement. “We are alleging that on the night of January 16, those three persons sexually assaulted a woman in an East Lansing apartment on campus.”
Siemon’s decision came nearly four months after the university announced that its police department was investigating three players for a reported sexual assault.
“(We) wanted to make sure were took the time to make the right decision,” Siemon told the State Journal, adding that her office wanted to review all the evidence available.
Siemon said there was no coordination between her office and MSU regarding the timing of her decision. On Monday afternoon, the university’s board met with football Coach Mark Dantonio and Athletic Director Mark Hollis. The board issued a statement of support for Dantonio and Hollis. Also Monday, after the board meeting and prior to Siemon’s statement, MSU also released an external investigation of the football program’s handling of two reported sexual assaults allegedly involving football players.
MSU announced Feb. 9 that three football players and a staffer “associated with the football program” had been suspended while the university’s police department investigated sexual assault allegations. MSU has not released the players’ names.