Mateen Cleaves, Michigan State University’s All-star and Hall of Fame basketball player, was charged yesterday with an alleged sexual assault. Cleaves’ basketball career started in his home town of Grand Blanc. He was the star in Michigan State’s National Championship game in 2000, and he went on to play for the NBA as the 14th pick for the Detroit Pistons. This Michigan State All Star is now facing up to 15 years in prison if he is proven guilty.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Mateen Cleaves is being charged with unlawful imprisonment, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual penetration, second-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Intent to Commit
When reading through the charges that Mateen Cleaves faces, you will note that one of the charges is “assault with intent to commit criminal sexual penetration.” We are often asked if there is a difference between intent and actually committing the crime. For the State of Michigan, when it comes to intent to commit sexual penetration, it is a felony charge and can fall under the Criminal Sexual Conduct Conviction.
Penalty for Intent
The punishment may not lead to life in prison, but there are still severe penalties at stake. For example, if you are found guilty of intent to commit criminal sexual penetration, you can get a sentence up to 10 years in prison, plus you will be registered as a sex offender on the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry.
Those charged with sexual assault will often get multiple charges that relate to how the incident happened. For Cleaves, he is also being charged with “False Imprisonment.” What it means to be charged with false imprisonment is that “a restraint of a person in a bounded area without justification or consent. It is a common-law felony.
The Story Behind Mateen Cleaves’ Sexual Assault Charges
The incident happened back in September after a golf fund raiser. Cleaves, 39, allegedly drove a 24-year-old girl home from a bar around 1:00 am. According to Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, the woman left with Cleaves in his car thinking they would return to the golf club.
That is when Cleaves allegedly took the woman to a motel in Grand Blanc and held her against her will and sexually assaulted her. He took her to a motel. She was under the impression he was taking her back to the golf club. She said that he held her there against her wishes. The Detroit News stated that Kym Worthy’s office commented that the woman was able to escape and receive help from another woman in a nearby room.
Tom Izzo, the Coach of Michigan State’s Basketball team was close to Cleaves. Izzos own son’s middle name is Mateen, after Mateen Cleaves. According to the Detroit Free Press, Izzo commented on the news of the charges after practice, “I don’t see him doing anything against somebody’s will, I really don’t. I think I know him well enough for that.”
Seek Legal Advice
The State of Michigan takes sexual assault charges very seriously. The prosecution will work vigorously to build a case to prove the allegations. Understanding the sever implication of intent for sexual assault even if one did not commit the act is vital. Defendants will still face serious penalties including jail time and a record that will follow them the rest of their lives. In addition, having an understanding of the additional charges that can accompany a sexual assault is important to grasp the severity of the possible punishment.
When a person is charged like Mateen Cleaves in sexual assault charges, they need to seek legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. If you know of someone who needs help, please have them contact my office.
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