December 05, 2013

No criminal charges for Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston: Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will not be charged after an investigation into an alleged sexual battery, State Attorney William Meggs said today.

posted by BornIcon to football at 02:10 PM - 18 comments

I assumed that this would be the case, figuring if the the AG was bringing charges, he wouldn't have teased them yesterday for today's press conference. Or have a press conference.

posted by bender at 02:17 PM on December 05

I am surprised that Meggs and the reporters were cracking jokes and laughing during this press conference. It looks terribly callous to rape victims.

posted by rcade at 02:29 PM on December 05

This whole scenario is terrible for the young lady that was assaulted. If she was in fact raped, there needs to be some further investigation to find her assailant.

posted by BornIcon at 02:33 PM on December 05

There is no assailant to find. She claims Winston raped her, the prosecutor said there isn't evidence to prove that a crime occurred. The DNA of a second unknown male was one of the factors in his decision.

posted by rcade at 02:45 PM on December 05

The DNA of a second unknown male was one of the factors in his decision

However, unless I'm completely off base that doesn't mean that the girl wasn't still raped.

posted by BornIcon at 03:11 PM on December 05

Was there two DNA (Winston and another), or DNA of a second person (not Winston)?

posted by grum@work at 03:28 PM on December 05

Winston and another.

So the prosecutor has already decided that the victim is lying and Winston is innocent?

Thought that is what courts are for.

posted by cixelsyd at 03:37 PM on December 05

Winston's DNA was found on her underwear. He says consensual sex occurred. Another male's DNA was found on her shorts.

However, unless I'm completely off base that doesn't mean that the girl wasn't still raped.

No, it doesn't. But prosecutors won't file charges if they don't think there's enough evidence to convict. So this is either a rape that won't be prosecuted or consensual sex that shouldn't be.

posted by rcade at 03:41 PM on December 05

Thought that is what courts are for.

Actually, the courts are there to try cases that the police and prosecutors believe to have merit.

If I say to a cop that cixelsyd hit me with a baseball bat, and during their investigation they determine that I'm not being honest about the incident (either I'm distorting facts, withholding information, or outright lying), then it's safe to assume that the police/prosecutors won't go forward with a case that they think will get thrown out in court due to lack of evidence.

Edit: Essentially what the Popesquatter said.

posted by grum@work at 03:44 PM on December 05

So since no charges are being filed, does this mean that Winston is now the outright choice of winning the Heisman?

posted by BornIcon at 03:48 PM on December 05

I am surprised that Meggs and the reporters were cracking jokes and laughing during this press conference

I happened to turn ESPN on just as the conference ended and the first reporter asked if the press guy saw this decision as a vindication for Winston. That's not quite what the word was, but it was a strange choice either way, that not only was the lack of an indictment a relief but that he should somehow feel proud of how everything turned out. If there's something worse than sports reporters covering legal issues, I'm not sure what it is.

posted by yerfatma at 04:50 PM on December 05

Mass media can make a good case.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 07:18 PM on December 05

The second persons DNA was her boyfriends. Meggs said that they were able to confirm that, but that he declined to talk to them. Essentially the problem would seem to be one quite common to rape reports. One person says that they were raped, the other says they weren't. Without something stronger to work with, it's almost impossible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a rape occurred.

posted by Mothball at 10:48 PM on December 05

The police reports from the investigation can be found here, if you so desire. Obviously, NSFW.

A decent summary of the case and why it stopped being investigated by Tallahassee PD and what developments came after that from the police can be found starting on page 83.

Edited@Mothball: it's actually more like one person saying something happened, and three others saying that it didn't (although Winston doesn't seem to have provided a statement himself, just something through his lawyer). Additionally, there seems to be some discrepancies between what the accuser told her friends and what she told the police, and how drunk she was.

None of this should be interpreted as me passing judgement and determining who was guilty and who was innocent in this case, just noting that this would have been a really hard case to prove.

posted by Bonkers at 10:58 PM on December 05

Oh great. Now I'm reading the police reports. This is not a real fun read.

posted by Mothball at 03:26 AM on December 06

The problem is that no matter what it's a grim situation all the way around. Either the girl is lying and Winston' reputation won't ever be the same or she was raped and someone got away with it.

posted by BornIcon at 07:55 AM on December 06

I would separate the first case. Either way, Winston's reputation may have been shot. Too many people believe he was the rapist, and it likely will extend to some Heisman voters (I believe the voting deadline is Monday) even though the award is supposed to be based on his performance on the field.

Kudos to the prosecutors for not charging if they believed there wasn't enough evidence to charge Winston. A lot of prosecutors would have charged and forced a trial to get a feather in their cap because he's a nationally known football player.

posted by jjzucal at 01:40 PM on December 07

Well, it's not like he's the first Heisman winner to have had some level of legal trouble. Hell, Johnny Rodgers had a felony conviction when he won.

posted by Etrigan at 02:06 PM on December 07

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