Star Florida State Quarterback Will Not Be Charged With Rape

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 5 2013 2:15 PM

Star Florida State Quarterback Will Not Be Charged With Rape

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Jameis Winston of the Florida State Seminoles warms up before a game.

Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Florida state attorney William Meggs announced on Thursday that Florida State football star Jameis Winston will not face sexual assault charges stemming from a sexual encounter with a former classmate. Meggs said there was not enough evidence to file charges in the case.

The announcement came from the state’s attorney who took over the investigation from Tallahassee police last month after accusations that the case was not being aggressively pursued because of the freshman quarterback’s star status. Winston’s play on the field this season has made him a Heisman contender on the undefeated Seminoles team that has national championship aspirations.

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Winston has been under investigation for sexual battery that had allegedly taken place on Dec. 7, 2012. The woman, whose identity has not been made public, reported to police that night that she had been sexually assaulted, but did not identify Winston until a month later, according to ABC News. The allegations against Winston only became public last month.

Here’s a recap of the facts of the case from Sports Illustrated:

Police were called on the night of the incident. The accuser was interviewed, and evidence was collected. The accuser identified Winston as the suspect on Jan. 10. Police say the then accuser canceled an interview (the accuser says she was available to be questioned). On Jan. 15, evidence was sent to the Florida Department of Police for processing. On Jan. 23, Winston declined an interview. On Feb. 11, police left the case open but inactive. The police version of this story is fairly easy to follow. Winston wouldn't talk, the accuser wouldn't talk, and her attorney told them she did not want to press charges. There was nothing they could do.
But in multiple statements, the accuser and her attorney, Patricia Carroll, have told a very different story. In the accuser's version, Det. Steve Angulo warned the accuser's attorney that "Tallahassee was a big football town and the victim needs to think long and hard before proceeding against him because she will be raked over the coals and her life will be made miserable." The accuser also says Angulo "specifically refused to collect Winston's DNA or interview Winston's roommate who witnessed the attack," because he was worried the story would blow up. The accuser also says Angulo lied about contacting Winston; he said he wouldn't, and he did. Yet the roommate was never interviewed.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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