Michigan State University police have requested arrest warrants for three Spartans football players after conducting an investigation into a sexual assault claim, according to ESPN.
The Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office announced early Thursday that it expects to receive more evidence from authorities in the coming hours. A decision regarding the arrest warrants should be coming in the “short-term future.”
Police requested three warrants in relation to the sexual assault charges and a fourth warrant for a non-sexual crime related to the case. MSU athletic director Mark Hollis released the following statement:
“The core values of MSU Athletics are clear, consistently communicate and non-negotiable. Among them are respect for self and others, accountability for actions and choices, and integrity. Sexual assault is unacceptable, and members of MSU Athletics who fail to uphold our standards for creating a culture that is safe, supportive, and responsive to those affected by it will be held accountable. My expectation of all members of the department is full and complete cooperation with all investigations.
“We have a strong athletics program at MSU, one based on values, traditions, and an understanding that as Spartans we are part of something bigger. Our promise to current and future student-athletes and to the entire Spartan community is to take the steps necessary, based on the facts determined through thorough review, to run this program according to the highest values.”
Last week, Michigan State suspended three football players and one staff member as they wait for the results of the investigation. The three students were evicted from student housing.
Earlier this week, MSU confirmed that recruiting director Curtis Blackwell had been placed on paid suspension, though they declined to explain if his suspension was related to the assault investigation. The three players under investigation have not been named publicly.
A sexual assault complaint was originally filed in late January.
MSU’s athletic department also made it know that it has hired an independent law firm to review the football program’s Title IX compliance in dealing with the alleged assault.
According to The White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault’s 2014 report, one in five college students experiences sexual assault during their college career. According to a small survey carried out by Sage Journals in 2016, 54% of student-athletes who participated admitted to coercing a partner into sex.