Three Michigan State football players were formally charged Monday with sexual assault related to an alleged incident that took place in January.
“I have decided to authorize sexual assault charges against the three persons whose warrants were requested by the MSU Police,” Ingham County prosecutor Carol Siemen said in the announcement. “We are alleging that on the night of January 16, those three persons sexually assaulted a woman in an East Lansing apartment on campus.”
The names of the players have not yet been released, but will be made public after arraignment.
According to television station News 10 WILX, three football players were suspended from team activities and removed from team housing in February while an investigation by MSU Police was ongoing.
Michigan State conducted a Title IX investigation in connection to the incident, which found that the football players violated school policy. Independent of the criminal investigation, the players could be subject to university discipline. In addition, the school hired independent law firm Jones Day to review staff compliance with university policy.
In its report on the investigation, the law firm found that former football staffer Curtis Blackwell violated the university’s policy on relationship violence and sexual misconduct, but the prosecutor did not file criminal charges against him. Blackwell had been suspended from his position with the team since February, and his contract was allowed to expire on May 31.
In the lead up to the announcement of charges, MSU’s board of trustees voiced confidence in head coach Mark Dantonio and athletic director Mark Hollis, who had each been called into a closed-door meeting to update the board on the investigation.
“Coach Dantonio handled this with the utmost integrity and swiftness,” university president Lou Anna K. Simon told ESPN.com.