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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Prosecutors Will Not Charge MSU's Joseph, Bograkos

Prosecutors in Ingham and Isabella counties, Michigan, have announced that Michigan State head coach Jacquie Joseph and assistant coach Jessica Bograkos will not face criminal charges. The announcement marks the end of an investigation that has run since the 2015 season's end and cast a cloud on the Spartan program.

Jacquie Joseph; Jessica Bograkos; Alyssa McBride
The Michigan State Police took two complaints, according to a statement from Isabella County prosecutor Risa Hunt-Scully that was referenced in a report from the Lansing State Journal. Both complaints were filed by now-graduated MSU senior Alyssa McBride, who alleged that Bograkos had intentionally hit her [McBride] during batting practice on two separate occasions. 

McBride alleged that the 'beanballs' were done with Joseph's permission; she also charged that the pitches were thrown in retaliation for what she thought were off-the-record comments she made about her disappointment in the program's lack of success during her career as a Spartan.

An anonymous Spartan player told the Detroit News that she had overheard Joseph authorizing the pitches in question, while team manager Ben Hayden told police he overheard Joseph & Bograkos discussing the allegations on the team bus.

The state police report spanned twenty-eight pages and contained interviews with McBride; Bograkos; and several members of the 2015 Spartan roster. Also interviewed were Hayden; another team manager, Austin Krus; and Jim Goranson, father of MSU player Dani Goranson, who had apparently witnessed one of the pitches in question.

Notably missing from the report was Joseph's interview, as well as those of assistant coach JT Gasso and volunteer assistant Andrea Harrison. These interviews were conducted by the MSU Police, a separate agency, and have not yet been released publicly.

Joseph vigoriously maintained her innocence throughout the investigation and released this statement following the announcement on Monday (h/t LSJ): "

"I deeply appreciate the hard work of the prosecutors of Ingham and Isabella Counties in sorting out the details of this case in a timely manner. I'm especially thankful that the cloud over my reputation has been lifted, so that I can again focus all my energies on the development of the student-athletes who share my passion for MSU and the great sport of softball. Finally, I would again like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the coaches, current and former students, and MSU staff members who supported me throughout this episode."
Bograkos' attorney has said that his client could file a defamation suit due to the allegations.

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