Winston Case Continues to Make Headlines

The Florida State attorney’s office concluded its investigation late last year, but the allegation that Jameis Winston sexually assaulted a woman in December 2012 continues to make national headlines. State Attorney Willie Meggs announced in December of last year that Winston will not face criminal charges stemming from the allegation after a three-week long investigation into the incident. Winston, through his attorney, has admitted to having a consensual sexual encounter with his accuser.

The case reentered national headlines in recent weeks when Deadspin reported that Florida State held a Title IX investigation into the encounter. Deadspin stated that Winston was not charged after refusing to answer questions at the advise of his attorney. Winton’s teammates  Ronald Darby and Chris Casher were charged with code of conduct violations though according to Deadspin.

The pair faces charges of “conduct of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for another person” according to Deadspin and charges of “acts that invade the privacy of another person.” Casher, Winston’s roommate, has admitted to walking into the room and filming part of the encounter. Casher is facing additional charges of the “recording of images without consent” according to the story published on Deadspin. Casher and Darby faces possible punishments ranging from a reprimand to expulsion. 

USA Today later reported that Florida State University is under investigation by the Department of Education for its handling of the Winston case and other Title IX investigations.

On Tuesday, The New York Times published an article detailing the failings of the Tallahassee Police Department in its investigation into the case. The Times outlined multiple failures by the TPD to fully investigate the case in a timely manner. The Times also outlined failings by the University to correctly investigation the Winston case and other sexual assault allegations. The University released a statement later that day expressing its issues with the report filed by The Times.

The alleged incident began at Potbelly’s, a popular bar near FSU’s campus, on the night of December 7, 2012. At different times in the police report the accuser claims to have had between five and eight drinks on the night of the incident. The Times stated that “The woman did not appear drunk, her friends said. But after a stranger gave her a drink, she recounted, her memory became hazy and fragmented,” alluding to the fact that the woman was drugged on the night of her encounter with Winston. Toxicology results included in the police report show that no drugs were found in her system and that her blood alcohol level was only .04 at the time of the test, below the legal limit of .08.

The woman then rode to Winston’s apartment in a cab along with Winston, Darby, and Casher. The woman claims that once they arrived at the apartment Winston took her into his bedroom and sexually assaulted her. Casher and Darby, who admit to watching through a crack in the door, stated that the encounter appeared to be consensual. Casher stated in a sworn affidavit that “from what [he] saw she was a more than willing participant.”

The criminal investigation was closed in December, but the investigation by the Department of Education is ongoing.