A jury acquitted former Michigan State basketball star Mateen Cleaves on Tuesday on all charges in his rape case in Genesee County Circuit Court.
Cleaves is the Flint native who led Michigan State to the 2000 NCAA championship. He faced up to 15 years in prison if he had been convicted of unlawful imprisonment, assault with intent to commit sexual penetration, and criminal sexual conduct.
A jury of nine women and three men began deliberating his case at 1:45 p.m. and reached a verdict in about two and a half hours.
Cleaves leaped from his chair when the verdict was read and threw his arms around the lead attorney, Frank Manley, sobbing into his shoulder.
"Lifesavers," Cleaves shouted later in the hallway as he embraced Manley and his brother, Mike Manley, another attorney on Cleaves' team.
Judge Celeste Bell had to silence the crowd in the courtroom and, later, in the hallway, courthouse security guards tried to quiet the crowd because other cases were still proceeding in nearby courtrooms.