Sexual assault case in Charlotte may have altered a Real Salt Lake trade

Andre Shinyashiki was set to join RSL in exchange for Justin Meram. But the deal “fell apart” and now Shinyashiki has been connected to a North Carolina investigation.

(David Zalubowski) Forward Andre Shinyashiki, then with the Colorado Rapids, plays in the first half of an MLS soccer match April 23, 2022. Shinyashiki was set to be traded to Real Salt Lake but the trade "fell apart" and now the player has been linked to a sexual assault investigation in North Carolina.

Former Real Salt Lake forward Justin Meram and Charlotte FC forward Andre Shinyashiki were all set to swap places. A deadline day trade was in place and reported by The Athletic and KSL.

But when the trade became official last Thursday, one name was left off it: Shinyashiki’s. He was no longer headed to Salt Lake City in the deal that reportedly “fell apart,” per The Athletic. The updated deal sent $200,000 in allocation money to RSL, with an additional $150,000 if Meram reached “certain milestones” with his new team.

It appears that an investigation into the Charlotte FC player’s connection to a sexual assault case directly impacted a trade that would’ve sent him to Real Salt Lake.

Shinyashiki is linked to the case being investigated by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, according to The Charlotte Ledger. A 23-year-old woman reported being sexually assaulted, and a two-page document provided to The Ledger indicates there were four people present during the incident.

Shinyashiki’s name, however, is not included in the document. The Charlotte media outlet said it provided the Shinyashiki’s name and date of birth to the police department asking for any incident reports regarding him, and were given the documents that mentioned the sexual assault allegation.

Shinyashiki was not charged with a crime. He addressed the report and apparent subsequent investigations in a tweet on Tuesday.

“I fully cooperated with Charlotte Police in their separate investigations related to the incident and no charges have been filed against me,” Shinyashiki wrote. “I’ve also been cleared by MLS to play. I’ll have no further comment.”

Shinyashiki, a 25-year-old forward, won the 2019 MLS Rookie of the Year award. He hasn’t played a game since April 8.