Florida State Seminoles’ quarterback Jameis Winston made headlines last month, but this time it was not for his performance on the football field. Winston was involved in a criminal investigation since December 2012, in which he was accused of sexual battery. Fortunately for the QB star, late last month he learned that he would not face charges as the result of a report of sexual battery against him.
As CBS Sports reported, State Attorney Willie Meggs stated in a news conference that after an investigation of the case and allegations against him, it was decided that no charges will be filed against Winston in connection with the matter. The Tallahassee Police Department and Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted the investigation and released documents related to it after the news conference. According to the accuser’s statement, she remembered sharing numerous beverages with friends at a local restaurant, and did not remember how she ended up riding in a cab with Winston and other men, including other Florida State football players. She reported being assaulted in a residence matching the description of Winston’s, but she did not identify him as her attacker until January 2013 when she saw him in class. Winston was informed of the allegations against him, but the Tallahassee Police department then suspended the case because the victim stopped cooperating.
DNA tests conducted as part of the investigation produced Winston’s DNA but also DNA from another unknown source. State Attorney Meggs indicated the victim was hesitant to cooperate in identifying the unknown source, which contributed to the length of the case. According to a statement released by the accuser through her attorney, she seems to maintain that she was, in fact, sexually assaulted despite the state’s decision not to file charges.
If the state had decided to press charges, Winston would have been suspended indefinitely from the football team until his case was resolved, as per Florida State’s school policy. Winston and his team, were ranked number one in the BCS standings most of the year and won the National Championship game earlier this year. In addition, after the threat of criminal charges against him were dropped, Winston went on to win the Heisman Trophy–a prestigious football award that he would have been out of the running for had the charges gone through.
The public will never know for sure the exact circumstances of the encounter between Winston and his accuser, but one thing is for sure: law enforcement decided they did not have enough evidence to prosecute. Many times, it takes an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect the rights and interests of his or her client. At Hoffman, Larin, and Agnetti, P.A., we have the experience necessary to defend your case to the extent required. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime in Florida, contact us for a free consultation today.