FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2016, file photo, Mateen Cleaves walks out of the district court at Genesee District Court in Flint, Mich. Former Michigan State University basketball star Cleaves is standing trial on sexual assault charges in his Michigan hometown. Opening statements began Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, in Genesee County Circuit Court in Flint, where Cleaves is charged with criminal sexual conduct, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct and unlawful imprisonment. He's accused of assaulting a 24-year-old woman after a charity golf event and a visit to a Flint-area bar in 2015. A district judge dismissed the charges in 2016, but a circuit court reinstated them on appeal. (Mark Felix/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP, File)

The Latest: Cleaves thanks jury for 'giving me my life back'

August 20, 2019 - 6:11 pm

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The Latest on the trial of Mateen Cleaves (all times local):

6:10 p.m.

Former Michigan State basketball star and NBA player Mateen Cleaves is thanking jurors for "giving me my life back" after they acquitted him on sex assault charges.

Cleaves was accused of raping a woman in a Flint-area motel room back in 2015.

The jury of nine women and three men deliberated for a little more than two hours Tuesday before delivering its verdict. Cleaves sobbed after the last of four not-guilty verdicts was read in Genesee County Circuit Court.

Outside the court, Cleaves again proclaimed his innocence, saying he has been "waiting for this moment for four years," adding he "didn't do anything wrong."

Juror Michael Lambert said the verdict was swift because he and others on the panel didn't believe Cleaves' accuser.

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4:45 p.m.

A jury has acquitted former Michigan State basketball star Mateen Cleaves of sexual assault and other charges.

The verdict Tuesday by the jury in Cleaves' hometown of Flint comes nearly four years after a then-24-year-old woman accused Cleaves of sexually assaulting her in a Flint area motel room.

The woman testified that she wanted to leave but that Cleaves continued to force himself upon her.

Cleaves didn't testify, but his attorney contended that the woman was in the motel room "of her own free will."

The 41-year-old Cleaves was charged with unlawful imprisonment, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual penetration and other charges. He had faced up to 15 years in prison had he been convicted.

Cleaves led Michigan State to the NCAA basketball championship in 2000 and played for four NBA teams.

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4 p.m.

Jurors have begun deliberating in the sexual assault trial of former Michigan State basketball star Mateen Cleaves.

The panel of nine women and three men received the case Tuesday afternoon after attorneys delivered closing arguments.

Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor David Champine said the alleged victim didn't want to have sex with Cleaves and told him so.

Defense attorney Michael Manley said the sex was consensual and that the woman lied because she felt bad about cheating on her boyfriend with Cleaves.

Cleaves is charged with criminal sexual conduct, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct and unlawful imprisonment in a 2015 incident that occurred after a charity golf event.

Cleaves led Michigan State to the NCAA basketball championship in 2000 and played for four NBA teams.

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