EAST LANSING — Former Niles and Lakeshore wrestling standout Austin Franco has been charged with sexual assault and is no longer a member of the Michigan State wrestling program.
According to 54B District Court records, Franco, 20, has been charged with two counts of fourth degree criminal sexual conduct stemming from an incident on campus on March 17, according to numerous media reports Thursday.
The first count alleges force and coercion while the second count alleges the victim was incapacitated.
Franco’s profile has been taken down on Michigan State’s athletics website and Matt Larson, the associate athletic director for communications, confirmed Franco is not a member of the wrestling team.
As a freshman in 2018-19, Franco compiled a 4-10 overall record in the 125-pound weight class.
Franco was scheduled to be back in court on Friday for a pre-examination conference.
He was the 119-pound state champion for Niles as a senior in 2018.
Franco began his high school wrestling career at Lakeshore, where he finished as 112-pound state runner-up as a freshman, and third place in the same weight class as a sophomore.
Midway through his junior season, he and his younger brother Ryan Franco transferred from Lakeshore to rival Niles. Austin Franco finished as state runner-up at 119 as a junior and was then undefeated as a senior. He finished with a career record of 165-5.