Winston case beckons more aggressive investigation
Jameis Winston, the star Florida State University quarterback who led his team to Bowl Championship Series victory and scored himself a Heisman Trophy, is yet again having the spotlight shown on the darker side of what he is known for.
In December 2012, a student came forward to Tallahassee State Police and FSU reporting that Winston raped her. Yet, the case sat dormant for almost a year as Winston played for the No. 1 ranking Florida State team.
It is alarming that local police and the university did not initially respond with a serious investigation to help the woman who claimed she was raped. Unless this is how all rape cases on campus are handled, then perhaps it could be Winston’s role on the field that has kept him out of the university’s investigation for over a year.
Winston’s teammates Chris Casher and Ronald Darby received five of the school’s code of conduct violations, allegedly creating a hostile sexual situation for Winston and his accuser, with Casher trying to join the sexual act and recording it on his phone.
Winston, on the other hand, is not being held as accountable for his actions as his teammates. He has not had as much action taken against him by FSU
administrators, has remained quiet about his actions and has yet to see any violations of the school’s code
Both teammates told investigators they saw the quarterback having sex with his accuser, which should have been enough for the school to further investigate his actions — even if what the witnesses saw does not confirm nonconsensual sex.
In January, immediately following FSU’s undefeated season, the university finally began conducting a Title IX investigation, which deals with sexual discrimination and advances. However, Winston chose to remain silent
The delayed investigation could be interpreted as the school not wanting to press the issue to keep Winston out of trouble.
Additionally, Winston’s refusal to speak on what happened that night is the only thing maintaining his innocence. It seems at this point the only evidence against Winston is the accuser’s story, but that has not been enough to build a case.
Another obstacle for the case is that the accuser has gaps in her recollection from the night, which is not uncommon in cases of sexual assault. It is confirmed that Winston and his accuser had sex that night, but proving it was nonconsensual can only be based on her account of the night — which, unfortunately, is not enough to have a strong case.
The investigation will get another look as the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights is exploring whether or not FSU responded promptly or appropriately to the case, per a request by the accuser and her attorneys.
Given that FSU took over a year to question Winston, it is clear there was no promptness in the case.
Obviously there is no way for anyone not present to know for sure if Winston committed a crime. However, the OCR should bring to light why this case was delayed for such a long period of time and how the school regularly handles sexual assault cases.
Clearly Winston and the woman accusing him are both seeing a poorly conducted investigation by local police and the university. While FSU should receive criticism for its handling of a sexual assault claim, it would be truly disappointing if news surfaces that any effort was made to keep Winston on the field and out of a courtroom.
Adam Mathieu is a sophomore majoring in studio art.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
More usforacle News Articles
Recent usforacle News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR USFORACLE
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST USFORACLE NEWS
- USF assistant coach resigns amid NCAA investigation
- UP arrests Clearwater man for sexual battery
- A student-driven upgrade: USF Health expands to better serve its students
- USF student interns in Florida Everglades
- Pokemon conquer campus: The new app “Pokemon Go” allows students to get act...
- We’ll always have Tampa: Tampa Theatre hosts Summer Classics Series
- O’Neal’s Olympic bid falls short
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- Driver Safety: New Tips for Road Trips
- What to Ask About the Medicines You Take
- Summer Is the Perfect Time to Catch Up on Some Reading
- There's At Least One Thing Americans Are Satisfied With
- What to Look for in a New House This Home Buying Season
- Is Your Eye Makeup Making You Sick? What You Need to Know
- Biotech Companies Are Still the "It" Stock to Have in...
- Give Seniors a Lift With Household Chores
- On the Brink: Africa Viewed As Growth Target for Telecom
- Protect Your Family With Encryption
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- Higher Education Goes Solar to Charge Mobile Devices
- Course Hero Beats Donation Goal for Books for Africa
- Course Hero Receives 2016 Top Workplace Award from Bay Area News Group
- Citavi Offers Summer Thesis-Writing Toolkit for Graduate Students
- Course Hero Welcomes Dr. Arthur Levine to their Advisory Board