MSU Staffer Curtis Blackwell Interfered With Investigation

Jun 14, 2017

MSU football staffer Curtis Blackwell "interfered" with the sexual assault investigation that has since resulted in the charging of three football players for a January incident, according to police documents acquired by the Lansing State Journal and MLive.

Credit Courtesy photo / MSU Athletic Communications

Blackwell was arrested by the Michigan State University Police Department on Feb. 8 after officers interviewed staff members about their involvement. During detainment, he refused to answer further questions.

He has not been charged with a crime.

Carol Siemon, Ingham County Prosecutor, confirmed to WKAR that Blackwell committed no criminal actions, and therefore, he would not be prosecuted.

However, recent developments revealed that Blackwell directly violated University policy in his handling of the incident. According to the MSU Police report, he attempted to investigate what happened on Jan. 16 without informing officials of his actions or findings.

Blackwell later told police on Feb. 8 that he was trying to determine if sexual contact was consensual. He also said that he assumed the incident had been reported already.

Josh King, Donnie Corley and Demetric Vance are all charged with sexual assault. King is accused of the most severe offense, first-degree criminal sexual conduct, for allegedly raping and eliciting forced oral sex from the victim on Jan. 16. 

Blackwell reportedly heard of the alleged early-morning sexual assault later that day from a player, whose name has been redacted from the documents with all others besides Blackwell's.

In the days after, Blackwell texted a suspect's father. Blackwell did not report the information he uncovered to either the police or university officials.

Michigan State University code is that “all University employees are expected to promptly report sexual misconduct or relationship violence that they observe or learn about,” according to the Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Policy. They are expected to turn over what they know or suspect to the Office of Institutional Equity and MSU Police. 

Faculty is also not supposed to investigate the matter. 

On May 31, head coach Mark Dantonio declined to extend Blackwell's contract, which was extended twice for month-long periods while he was suspended with pay. Blackwell is no longer an employee of MSU. 

Dantonio announced Wednesday that Mark Staten would be promoted to recruiting coordinator, a role that Blackwell previously was responsible for.