Mateen Cleaves facing up to 15 years in prison due to sexual assault charges

By Jesse Reed
Dec 12, 2015; East Lansing, MI, USA; General view of a basketball on the court during the 2nd half of a game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Florida Gators at Jack Breslin Student Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Former Michigan State basketball star Mateen Cleaves was charged with sexual assault stemming from an incident that occurred in September of 2015.

Per The Detroit News, Cleaves is facing the following charges after allegedly assaulting a 24-year-old woman after a charity golf event in Flint, Mich.:

“…unlawful imprisonment, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual penetration, second-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.”

Cleaves, who also had a middling six-year career in the NBA, could be facing up to 15 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

The prosecutor in this case paints a disturbing picture of Cleaves, who he believes felt entitled to have his way with the woman:

“The evidence in this case will show that the alleged actions of this defendant were not only criminal, but arose out of a sense of entitlement sometimes found in prominent people,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement.

After a night out on the town following the golf outing, Cleaves is reported to have misled the woman, who thought she was getting a ride back to the golf club. Afterwards, he allegedly held the woman against her will at a hotel and sexually assaulted her.

It’s expected that Cleaves will turn himself in.

Not surprisingly, his lawyer, Frank J. Manley, paints a different picture, saying Cleaves wouldn’t take advantage of his celebrity status “to take advantage of anyone.”

Another prominent person who knows Cleaves well, Michigan State basketball head coach Tom Izzy, echoed those sentiments.

“I don’t know anything, of course, except I’m saddened by it,” Izzo said Tuesday. “I’m disappointed, bummed out, and everything else. Personally, I don’t see him doing anything against somebody’s will, I really don’t. I think I know him well enough for that.”

Cleaves will likely be arraigned on the charges on Thursday.