Tallahassee, FL- After an investigation was delayed for over a year, prosecutors in Florida have decide not charge FSU quarterback Jameis Winston with the December 2012 rape of a woman in an off-campus apartment.
“We came to the decision that it was not a case that we could bring forward because we would not have…the reasonable likelihood of a conviction,” said State Attorney Willie Meggs on Thursday, according to CBS news.
CBS reported that Meggs was concerned that the “memory lapses” of the night in question made it difficult to move forward with the case.
According the state attorney’s report, which will be released in full over the next 24 hours, Winston’s accuser could not remember many details of the night in question, but told investigators she remembered she wound up in a ground-floor apartment where a man took off her close and forced her to have sex in spite of her objections.
Meggs’ office only received the complaint three weeks ago after the documents were leaked to the press. After the incident, Winston’s accuser immediately went to FSU campus police and Tallahassee police to report the rape, but nothing was done.
A month later with the assistance of an attorney the unidentified woman went to Tallahassee police again to file a complaint. At the time she was warned by a detective that proceeding with such allegations against the football player would be unwise.
Tallahassee detective told the woman’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,” as we previously reported.
The woman eventually withdrew her complaint and the incident was not investigated. The Tallahassee police made no attempt to collect DNA or interview witnesses about the alleged rape. This was a controversial decision on behalf of the Tallahassee police and sends the signal that a football player’s reputation is more important that the rights of a rape victim.
FSU also failed the woman by not conducting their own investigation, stating the incident took place off-campus and was a police matter.
When the allegations surfaced, Winston’s attorney conceded that his client’s DNA was found in the woman’s underpants, but insists the sex was consensual.
Meggs said there was no probable cause to arrest Winston and said although his DNA was found on the woman’s underpants there is no way to prove the sexual encounter was non-consensual.
After Meggs’ announcement, the attorney representing the victim and her family, Patricia Carroll said: “The victim and her family appreciate the State Attorney’s efforts in attempting to conduct a proper investigation after an inordinate delay by the Tallahassee Police Department. The victim in this case had the courage to immediately report her rape to the police and she relied upon them to seek justice. The victim has grave concerns that her experience, as it unfolded in the public eye and through social media, will discourage other victims of rape from coming forward and reporting.”