Michigan State dismisses Auston Robertson after sexual assault charge

Michigan State has dismissed defensive lineman Auston Robertson following a sexual assault charge.
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Michigan State has dismissed defensive lineman Auston Robertson following a sexual assault charge.

Robertson, 19 is facing third-degree criminal sexual conduct charges for raping a woman on April 8. He was suspended on April 9. The team announced his dismissal on Friday.

“The criminal sexual conduct charges announced today against Auston Robertson are of the most serious nature,” head coach Mark Dantonio said in a statement. “Sexual assault has no place in our community. While there is an ongoing criminal process, we’re extremely disappointed that Auston put himself in this position. He is no longer a member of our football program.”

Robertson faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. He was also arrested in January 2016 while in high school on a misdemeanor battery charge, in which he was accused of inappropriately touching a female classmate. Dantonio said Robertson had an “extensive educational process” following the incident and on arrival at Michigan State, involving “daily supervised sessions within the football program and regular meetings with university staff addressing appropriate behavior and developmental growth.” He had to complete a 22-week diversionary program as stipulated by the court.

This incident is separate from an ongoing criminal investigation involving three football players and a staffer, all four of whom were suspended Feb. 9.