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3 former Michigan State players reach plea deals in sexual assault case

From left, former Michigan State football players Josh King, Demetric Vance and Donnie Corley appear with their attorneys in Ingham County Circuit Court, Wednesday April 4, 2018 in East Lansing, Migh. The three former football players accused in the 2017 sexual assault of a woman in an apartment bathroom have pleaded guilty to reduced charges. (Jonathan Oosting /Detroit News via AP)

Three former Michigan State players reached plea deals in a sexual assault case that led to their dismissal from the football program last year.

Josh King, Donnie Corley and Demetric Vance entered guilty pleas Wednesday to lesser charges than they were initially facing. All three pleaded guilty to a felony charge of seduction while King pleaded guilty to an additional charge of “surveilling an unclothed person.”

All three are expected to avoid jail time in a deal the victim ultimately signed off on.

From the Lansing State Journal:

The agreement, made public in a hearing before Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina this morning, calls for all three to have no up-front jail time.

Their court records also would become non-public under a Michigan law that allows judges to close the records of young offenders as long as they meet the terms of their agreement and do not commit any future offenses. Aquilina said during the hearing that she was granting Holmes Youthful Trainee status to all three.

They can withdraw their guilty pleas if Aquilina includes jail time in their sentences, which are scheduled to be set in a hearing at 8:30 a.m. on June 6. Ingham County Assistant Prosecutor Steve Kwasnik said the victim had been consulted and approved of the terms of the plea agreements. A message was left seeking comment from Ingham County Prosecuting Attorney Carol Siemon.

The three were accused of sexually assaulting a female student at an on-campus apartment in January 2017. King was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, third-degree criminal sexual conduct and capturing an image of an unclothed person. Corley and Vance were hit with one charge apiece: third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

From the LSJ:

Michigan State University Police said at a hearing that led to the charges that the victim reported King invited her to “speak somewhere quiet,” then “pulled” her into a bathroom and forced her to perform oral and vaginal sex; Corley and Vance were each accused of later forcing her to perform oral sex. Police also allege that King recorded himself having sex with the woman.

Michigan State initially announced last February that it was investigating allegations of sexual assault that were “connected to the football program” and said it had suspended three unnamed student-athletes who were months later revealed to be King, Corley and Vance. In May 2017, it was determined after a Title IX investigation that the three players violated school policy. In June, the players, who were dismissed from the team in May, were formally charged in Ingham County.

Curtis Blackwell, MSU’s former director of college advancement and performance, was suspended for his response to the allegations. It was later determined that MSU police said Blackwell “interfered” with the investigation. His contract was not renewed.

An independent report that reviewed MSU’s handling of the situation concluded that MSU head coach Mark Dantonio and now-former athletic director Mark Hollis acted appropriately throughout the ordeal. Dantonio, the report said, reported the incident to his superiors at the school “within minutes” of being informed of the incident by another player.

Corley, a wide receiver who also saw time on defense, caught 33 passes for 453 yards in 2016 while King, a defensive lineman, played in nine games for MSU in 2016 as a true freshman, registering 10 tackles. Vance, a defensive back, redshirted his lone season with the Spartans. All three players were members of MSU’s 2016 recruiting class.

According to MLive.com, all three players signed national letters of intent to continue their football careers at Coahoma Community College in Mississippi.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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