EAST LANSING – Brock Washington, a freshman walk-on basketball player at Michigan State University, has been charged with misdemeanor assault.
Washington, 19, was arrested March 8 and charged the same day in Ingham County with assault or assault and battery, according to Michigan State Police records.
Washington’s charge generally carries a sentence of up to 93 days in jail, although it is not clear whether Washington has been convicted of that or any other charge.
Washington’s case is not listed in court records, and officials with the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office declined to comment, saying the case is nonpublic.
Michigan State’s Cassius Winston, right, shoots as teammate Brock Washington defends during the annual Midnight Madness event on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, at the Breslin Center in East Lansing. (Photo: Nick King/Lansing State Journal)
In Michigan, offenders younger than 24 who have pleaded to some criminal offenses can have their court records closed to public view under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act. Under the law, such records keep nonpublic status unless the trainee commits another offense.
The prosecutor’s office rejected a State Journal Freedom of Information Act request for documents related to the case on Friday, indicating that the case is not closed and disclosure could “interfere with law enforcement proceedings.”
A similar request filed with Michigan State University was previously rejected; a follow-up request awaits a response.
An attorney for Washington could not be reached because his case is not listed in court records.
Matt Larson, a spokesman for MSU basketball, did not immediately respond to a message left seeking comment.
The case number listed in Michigan State Police records matches a case number from the MSU crime log dated Aug. 31, 2017. In that incident, the initial report indicated an investigation into an instance of alleged 4th-degree criminal sexual conduct that took place Aug. 29 in Bryan Hall around 3 a.m.
Washington was charged with “assault or assault and battery.” The documents also list the charge as “assault excluding sexual.”
Any charge of 4th-degree criminal sexual conduct requires “sexual contact,” which is defined as “intentional touching of the victim’s or actor’s intimate parts or the intentional touching of the clothing covering the immediate area of the victim’s or actor’s intimate parts, if that intentional touching can reasonably be construed as being for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification, done for a sexual purpose, or in a sexual manner.”
The assault or assault and battery charge, meanwhile, generally involves a threat or act of violence, and can include actions such as punching or hitting.
Washington dressed for all of MSU’s 35 games this winter but did not play while taking a redshirt season. The Spartans had the week off between the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments when Washington’s arrest took place, but he was in uniform and on the bench for their two NCAA games March 16 and 18 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.
Washington played high school basketball for Southfield Christian, where he helped lead the Eagles to the Class D state semifinals and set their single-game scoring mark with 40 points against Plymouth Christian. When he announced plans to join MSU as a preferred walk-on, he reportedly had interest from Oakland and a number of Mid-American Conference schools.
The incident comes on the heels of increased scrutiny for MSU athletics. Athletic Director Mark Hollis resigned in January, just days after President Lou Anna Simon resigned in the wake of former MSU doctor Larry Nassar’s sentencing and continued issues surrounding the university’s handling of sexual assault claims on campus.
On Wednesday, three former MSU football players pleaded to seduction, a felony charge related to a sex assault investigation. The former players — Donnie Corley Jr., Josh King and Demetric Vance — had been charged with criminal sexual conduct but will likely avoid jail time after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors.
Auston Robertson, another former football player, currently awaits trial on two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Contact Christopher Haxel at 517-377-1261 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisHaxel.
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