Florida State University Football Star Won’t Face Rape Charges, Prosecutor Says

Jameis Winston will not stand trial over sexual assault allegations

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Florida State University’s star quarterback Jameis Winston will not face rape charges over the alleged sexual assault of a classmate last year, a prosecutor said on Thursday.

“No charges will be brought against anyone in this case,” Florida State Attorney Willie Meggs said in a press conference.

When asked if he thought Winston had received special treatment because he’s a star athlete, Meggs said: “I don’t think they do and we try to treat everyone the same.

“We did not feel we had sufficient evidence to bring the case to trial to prove it was not consensual,” Meggs said.

Meggs said the discovery of DNA from a second male associated with the event helped inform the decision not to bring charges against Winston. The identity of that third party has not been released.

In a statement released to the Tampa Bay Times after Meggs’ announcement, the accuser’s family said it appreciates Meggs attempt “to conduct a proper investigation after an inordinate delay by the Tallahassee Police Department. The victim in this case had the courage to immediately report her rape to the police and she relied upon them to seek justice.”

The accuser said she worries the decision not to press charges against Winston “will discourage other victims of rape from coming forward and reporting.”

Winston is the star player on Florida State’s top-ranked football team with a shot at the Heisman Trophy and a national title. Had he been charged with a felony he would have been automatically suspended from playing football until the case was resolved.

The case stems from an accusation made almost a year ago to the day, on Dec. 7, 2012, when a Florida State student called campus police at 3:30 a.m. to report that she’d been raped. According to a warrant released shortly before Meggs’ announcement, the woman reported having five or six shots at a bar, after which, she says, her memory became “very broken.” Meggs said the woman’s blood alcohol level at the time of the incident was about 1.0. The woman reported riding in a cab with a “nondescript black man” to an apartment where she was raped, the Tallahassee Democrat reported. The warrant says the woman tried to fight the man off and that at one point during the event another man entered the room and told the alleged assailant to stop.

Investigators have matched Winston’s DNA to that collected in evidence the day of the incident. Winston does not deny that he and the woman had sex but says it was consensual, something the woman’s family has denied.

The investigation was immediately handed over to Tallahassee police because the alleged attack took place at an off-campus apartment. The woman did not name Jameis Winston as her attacker until Jan. 10. By Feb. 11, Tallahassee police had declared the investigation inactive because the victim chose not to pursue charges, a contention the young woman’s family denies. Tallahassee police have faced criticism over allegations that they discouraged the woman from pursuing charges because of Winston’s star status in a community where college football is hugely popular. After intense media scrutiny the case was revived in October when Tallahassee police turned the investigation over to State Attorney Willie Meggs.

[Tallahassee Democrat]

 

10 comments
Nicholas
Nicholas

This report is not correct, the girl in question had a blood alcohol level of .04 and another man's sperm in her underwear.

She was not a credible witness is what Meggs had implied.    

MartinHarvey
MartinHarvey

The ironic detail about the whole "woman is drunk so it HAS to be rape" is that god forbid you suggest to any woman drinking that maybe she shouldn't have so much to drink, and then all of a sudden she gets furious that you're telling her what to do. Feminists are criminalizing sex. Make up your minds; either equal rights and equal expectations, or you want every boyfriend to be the girl's daddy, too, and tell her how much alcohol she can or cannot have.

That doesn't even begin to cover the issue of a reliable witness or common sense; if a woman claims that she was too drunk to remember, then how is a jury actually supposed to weigh her version of the events accurately? I can't remember anything, but I know I was raped. Uhm, okay. Let's forget about reasonable doubt.

Also, are men now supposed to give a woman a breathalyzer test before engaging in what they believe to be consensual sex? It's funny how if a woman gets drunk, drives her car and wrecks it, there's no sympathy. And yet, if you might want to harbor reasonable doubts about to whether a guy actually raped a woman who later claims she was too drunk to remember, and not simply take her word for it and throw a possibly innocent man in prison, you're somehow a woman hater and a rapist.


stevek77536
stevek77536

Yes, star athletes at this level get special treatment.  Yes, women should avoid getting drunk and getting in cabs with "nondescript men".  Yes, men should not take advantage of drunk women.  Yes, "broken memory" pretty much means no criminal case.  At best, Mr. Winston may pay a price in the court of public opinion.

AgurusGuru
AgurusGuru

It's obvious that money and football reigns at FSU. That school is noted for producing players of little character.

Harperknowsbest
Harperknowsbest

When has a rape victim ever received sympathy? What planet are you from?

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

Let's first of all remember something very important: Sex MUST be consensual or else it IS rape, regardless of circumstances.

A drunk, drugged or unconscious person can not give legal consent.

You asked, "Also, are men now supposed to give a woman a breathalyzer test before engaging in what they believe to be consensual sex?"

The answer is DUH!!!  Jesus, are you that dense as to think it's okay to have sex with someone legally incapable of saying yes?

This woman was raped.  She was not lucid enough to give consent, and too many of these incidents use drugs that are not easily detected.  The fact it was a "star" and that football is all but a GOD to many of these places, yeah, you're not going to get any justice there if one of these "stars" decides they want to have sex even if you can't say yes.

Harperknowsbest
Harperknowsbest

Not the worst comment I've seen. But, women should not get into cabs?!?! Very possible a woman might think the cab was taking her home. Women should not get drunk?!?! Does that imply but it's okay for men? I'm only asking because evidence suggests Winston was drunk (so drunk that he raped a woman then could not remember his actions). He stated "nothing happened". Then his DNA proved otherwise. With his size and strength (and testosterone) perhaps he should lay off the alcohol. At the very least stop picking up women he presumes are too drunk to recall what he looks like after he puts them in a cab. There lays the problem. Good grief ...if only Breion's plane had landed 2 hours earlier. This could have ALL been avoided.

YoElRey
YoElRey

@AgurusGuru . .  as well as students who suffer from many shortcomings of their own . 

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