Auston Robertson, the former Michigan State defensive end arrested in April on sexual assault charges, reported a rape and sexual assault involving three recently dismissed Spartans to head coach Mark Dantonio, according to Michigan State trustee Mitch Lyons.
In a Tuesday radio interview on WBBL’s The Huge Show, Lyons revealed that Robertson was the one to first bring the information of the case involving Donnie Corley, Josh King, and Demetric Vance to Dantonio’s attention when the pair met in January. Dantonio contacted the university’s Office of Institutional Equity shortly after, sparking an investigation by the school police department. Lyons told the radio hosts Robertson did not provide details of the assault in his weekly meeting with Dantonio, adding that the coach stopped him once he revealed the nature of the allegations.
“When Auston Robertson came into his office for a regularly weekly meeting, Coach D asked him the regular questions he typically asks him, and then he became a little emotional and didn’t even go into details,” Lyons said during an appearance on the show Tuesday afternoon. “He alluded to the fact that something happened, and Coach D had a sense that it involved some sort of sexual allegation, and he immediately said ‘Don’t say anything more.’”
The account from Lyons lines up with the account detailed in the Jones Day report, an external investigation into the football staff’s reaction to a pair of separate sexual assault allegations—the first being the one allegedly committed by the trio; the second being the April assault involving Robertson. The Jones Day account did not name Robertson as the reporting player in its 14-page findings summary, keeping his identity anonymous. In their account, Robertson told Dantonio of the victim in the Jan. 16 incident, “I had to get her out of there. She is my friend.”
During the meeting, which took place shortly before2:00 p.m., the reporting player became emotional and began to make a statement regarding a woman whom he had helped, saying, “I had to get her out of there. She is my friend.” The reporting player did not provide details of what occurred, when it occurred, where it occurred, or who was involved. He also did not inform Dantonio that the situation involved sexual misconduct or assault.
King, Corley, and Vance were charged by the Ingham County prosecutor on Tuesday—King currently faces charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, third-degree criminal sexual conduct, and capturing an image of an unclothed person; Corley and Vance are facing third-degree criminal sexual conduct charges.
Lyons was publicly rebuked for revealing the information by fellow trustee Brian Mosallam, who said in a statement posted to Twitter, that “Lyons, once again, has damaged the university by his words and actions.” (Mosallam’s “once again” was a reference to an incident in February in which Lyons supported President Trump’s travel ban in a since-deleted tweet.)
Lyons later told MLive that he “completely misspoke,” claiming that he had “multiple cases going on and get confusing (sic) at times.”