What led to judge dismissing Mateen Cleaves rape case

- All charges have been dropped for Mateen Cleaves.

"As to counts 2,3,4,5 this court has not heard enough evidence to bind them over," said Judge Cathy Dowd. "This case is dismissed."

Cleaves reacted after Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Cathy Dowd dismissed the sexual assault charges against the former MSU basketball star. Cleaves had been accused of holding a woman against her will and raping her at a Flint area motel in 2015.

"I am very grateful that my lawyer fought for my life as if I was his own son," Cleaves said afterward. "I am just grateful I had support from some of my closest people."

The case was supposed to come down to surveillance video, which the prosecution says showed a naked Cleaves physically pulling a naked woman back into the motel room twice. In addition, a key witness - a woman who was staying at the motel - claims she saw it happen.

"Counsel ignores the testimony of Ms. Dowdall who indicated that the witness was yelling 'Help me, help me, call 911,'" said prosecutor Lisa Lindsey.

But Judge Dowd felt the evidence did not add up, since the woman invited him to the bar and left with him voluntarily. She even went to a busy gas station, but never asked for help.

"Ms. Lindsey says I am supposed to believe he is pulling her back in the room to commit (criminal sexual conduct)," Dowd said. "There are a number of factors that lead me to believe something else could be going on."

Perhaps the most damning testimony came from a Mundy Township police sergeant who responded to the motel - the scene of the alleged crime - and testified the accuser never told him she had been sexually assaulted.

Defense attorney: "You asked her if she had ever been assaulted. Is that correct?"

"That's correct," said Sgt. Todd Johnson. "She said no."

From the beginning, Cleaves' attorney Frank Manley claimed there was never an assault and that his client was innocent of all charges.

"This is one of the biggest victories anyone could have and it couldn't have happened for a person I believe in more, than Mr. Cleaves," Manley said.

"I am just happy that I can walk away from here a free man," Cleaves said. "And look forward to move forward."

FOX 2 is told that the Wayne County prosecutor's office will appeal the decision and has 21 days to do so.


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