Travis Walton was allowed to continue his duties as a student-assistant to Tom Izzo after he was criminally charged for punching a female Michigan State student at a bar in 2010, according to a report from ESPN's Outside the Lines.
The report says that Walton, who was the Big Ten defensive player of the year in 2009 and led Michigan State to the national championship game that year, was accused of sexually assaulting a different female months later, after the Spartans reached the Final Four that season.
From the report:
"He started speaking with us, and I'm like, 'I'm sorry. Can you just give us a moment?'" Thompson told Outside the Lines. "And he was like, 'You don't know who I am?' And I was like, 'I really don't care who you are.' And he kind of got angry at that point, and I told him to not-so-politely F-off."
She says Walton -- who at the time was an undergraduate student assistant coach under Tom Izzo -- instantly became angry.
"I barely got the words out of my mouth, and he came across and he struck me on the right side of my face," she says. "I kind of reached back toward him, and I didn't make contact, and then that's when he swung with a second reach and hit me on the left side of my face and hit me so hard that it knocked me backwards off of my barstool."
Thompson says she was knocked unconscious by the blow and that bouncers removed Walton from the bar. Walton denies ever making physical contact with Thompson. He was put on administrative leave from his current assistant coach position with the Clippers' G-League affiliate after the report was released.
Walton pleaded not guilty at his arraignment and his assault and battery charges were dropped. He pleaded guilty to a civil infraction for littering, according to OTL.
These never-before publicized details were uncovered by Outside the Lines as part of a report on a culture of sexual assault within Michigan State's football and basketball programs. The university's athletic department has been in headlines for its mishandling of the Larry Nassar case; Nassar was a faculty member at the university for decades and sexually abused multiple students under the guise of medical treatment during his time there.
After the alleged assault of Thompson, a woman told Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis–who resigned Friday amid the Nassar fallout—that she was raped by Walton and two basketball players. The woman never reported it to the police.
OTL reports Hollis told the woman and her mother that the issue had been discussed with the basketball team and no player was reprimanded.