There’s been a rather significant development regarding one of the two sexual assault investigations involving Michigan State football players.
Last week, it was reported that an unnamed MSU player was the subject of a probe stemming from an April 9 incident. According to mlive.com, and after the Ingham County (Mich.) prosecutor’s office requested an arrest warrant, Spartans defensive lineman Auston Robertson is now facing a charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct stemming from that alleged incident. The charge carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.
Robertson was one of the players suspended for the Spartans’ spring game. “[W]e will continue to educate and enforce high standards for the program. I expect all of our players to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects the values and principles of Michigan State University,” a statement from head coach Mark Dantonio earlier this month read.
Perhaps as troubling is that this is not Robertson’s first run-in with the law.
The lineman had been committed to the Spartans but did not sign with MSU in February of 2016 after he was charged with misdemeanor battery in his home state of Indiana. Robertson subsequently signed with MSU in late March of that year after he entered into a pretrial diversionary program, with “the charge dropped last month after satisfying the terms of his program,” mlive.com wrote.
“Our decision to accept Auston Robertson’s signed National Letter of Intent and Big Ten Tender has been evaluated over the last three months while utilizing all resources available to us to thoroughly review his situation,” Dantonio said in a statement at the time. “Given all the information available to us, we believe Auston should be provided with an opportunity to begin his education and playing career at Michigan State.
Prior to that, he had been charged with criminal mischief, damaging or defacing property and resisting arrest in a separate incident. Those charges were later dropped.
A four-star recruit, Robertson was rated as the No. 9 weakside defensive end in the country and the No. 3 player at any position in the state of Indiana. The only recruit in MSU’s class that year rated higher than Robertson was fellow four-star defensive end Josh King.
As a true freshman, he played in seven games.