Three former Michigan State football players — Donnie Corley, Josh King, and Demetric Vance — were all charged with criminal sexual conduct in June of 2017, stemming from a campus incident back in January of that same year.
That trio was in Ingham County Circuit Court on Wednesday to learn whether or not they would be receiving significant jail time for their actions. As it turns out, all three agreed to plea deals that could allow them to avoid any sort of time behind bars.
— Matt Charboneau (@mattcharboneau) April 4, 2018
All three agreed to lesser charges of seducing an unmarried woman, which carries a maximum jail sentence of five years. King also has the surveillance charges, which is a separate two-year sentence.
Overseeing everything in court on Wednesday was Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who also heard the near-200 victim cases during the Larry Nassar sexual assault saga back in late January and early February. Aquilina sentenced the three former Michigan State football players under the state’s Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which allows for them to effectively have no public criminal record from the guilty pleas if they meet all the requirements of Judge Aquilina. Corley, King, and Vance can all waive their respective plea deals should Aquilina decide to give them up-front jail time instead.
Corley, King, and Vance all admitted to having oral sex with the victim during a January 2017 evening at a University Village apartment on campus. King also admitted to sharing photos of the victim on Snapchat. The charges were officially filed later than summer, which resulted in the immediate dismissal from the football program and expulsion from the university. Corley, King, and Vance all initially pled not guilty to the charges at the time.
King was charged with both first- and third-degree criminal sexual conduct, along with capturing/distributing an image of a person, charges that carry a potential life sentence in jail. Both Corley and Vance faced a maximum 15 years in jail with their felony charge of third-degree CSC.
One Lansing-area attorney said the victim has requested her identity stay private, especially after the Nassar scandal at Michigan State sent shockwaves nationally.
“Part of the reason she doesn’t want to go public at this point is what has happened to the women in the Nassar case,” said Truszkowski, referring to the more than 200 victims in the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal.
“They have been crucified. Not by the media but by members of the Board (of Trustees), etc., and she is not willing to deal with that now,” the lawyer said. “They have been awful to those women … the comments that some of board members have made and the way MSU has treated them.”
“They have finally admitted guilt,” Truszkowski said. “They have maintained all along it was a consentual event, and it was not. The fact they finally admitted guilt in an open court gives her some vindication.”
Earlier this winter, Corley and Vance both signed national letters of intent to play at Coahoma Community College in Mississippi, a move approved by Aquilina through stipulations that their bonds be modified, requiring them to attend all future court meetings. King agreed to join his former Michigan State teams at Coahoma CC weeks later, though it is unclear if he intends on playing football.
Corley, King, and Vance are all former 4-star prospects from Michigan State’s 2016 freshman class; three of the program’s top eight rated recruits according to 247Sports. Vance, a former Cass Tech product, had been committed to the Spartans since May of 2015. Corley committed to MSU roughly a month before National Signing Day in 2016. King, who hails from Darien, Illinois, was rated the top overall prospect from that class for Michigan State.
The once-promising 2016 class for MSU also included another former player in Auston Robertson, who stepped onto campus with a troubled past and left in similar fashion (unrelated incident) to Corley, King, and Vance. The removal of these four players — from the program led to a boatload of players having to step up on a young and inexperienced Spartans team, that ended up finishing a remarkable 10-3 after going 3-9 in 2016.
The three will be back in court for their sentence hearing on June 6, which is exactly one year from when their criminal sexual conduct charges were brought about.