A university investigation into an alleged sexual assault involving three now-former Michigan State football players began when Mark Dantonio learned of the incident from Auston Robertson in January, according to Michigan State trustee Mitch Lyons.
Robertson was kicked off the team in April and is facing a sexual assault charge from another incident.
Former players Josh King, Donnie Corley and Demetric Vance were charged with sexual assault and kicked off the team Tuesday. On Monday, law firm Jones Day released a report of its findings in its investigation of the alleged sexual assault.
According to the report, Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio learned of the incident on Jan. 16 from one of his players. Dantonio reportedly immediately contacted the university’s Office of Institutional Equity (OIE), following Title IX policy.
On January 16, 2017, the reporting player had a meeting with Head Coach Mark Dantonio—a regularly-scheduled weekly meeting with the reporting player to monitor his academic, athletic, and social progress. During the meeting, which took place shortly before 2:00 p.m., the reporting player became emotional and began to make a statement regarding a woman whom he had helped, saying, “I had to get her out of there. She is my friend.” The reporting player did not provide details of what occurred, when it occurred, where it occurred, or who was involved. He also did not inform Dantonio that the situation involved sexual misconduct or assault. Nonetheless, Dantonio suspected the reporting player was a potential witness to an incident that could implicate the University’s RVSM policy. Dantonio stopped the player so Dantonio could immediately contact OIE.
On Wednesday, Lyons, a Michigan State trustee and former player, said the player who brought the incident to Dantonio’s attention was Robertson. Robertson was kicked off the team in April after he was charged with sexual assault in a separate incident.
“When Auston Robertson came into his office for a regular weekly meeting, Coach D asked him the regular questions you typically ask him, and he became a little emotional,” Lyons said in a radio interview with The Huge Show on WBBL in Grand Rapids. “He didn’t even go into details, he just alluded to the fact that something happened, and Coach D had a sense that it involved some sexual allegation.”
Here is the full radio interview. Lyons’ comments about Robertson’s reporting start around the 3:45 mark:
Jones Day found that Dantonio handled the situation properly.
King, Corley and Vance were suspended in February, but were not named until they were charged on Tuesday. They were arraigned by Wednesday morning and will have preliminary hearings on June 22.
Robertson, meanwhile, was charged with third-degree sexual misconduct on April 21 for an alleged incident that occurred earlier in the month. He was kicked off the team the day he was charged. Robertson also was arrested on a battery charge and was accused of inappropriately touching a female classmate in high school.