Alleged victim warned, feared backlash in Florida State quarterback case

Posted Nov. 20, 2013, at 5:50 p.m.
Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) stands on the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at BB&T Field on Nov. 9.
Jeremy Brevard | USA Today Sports
Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) stands on the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at BB&T Field on Nov. 9.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The alleged victim in a sexual assault investigation involving Florida State star quarterback Jameis Winston spoke out for the first time Wednesday through a statement, saying through her attorney she was warned by a Tallahassee Police Department detective not to pursue the case shortly after the complaint was filed.

In an exclusive interview with the Tampa Bay Times, the alleged victim — whom the newspaper identified as an FSU student from the Tampa area — claims she was told by TPD Detective Scott Angulo that Tallahassee was a “big football town,” that her life would become “miserable” and she may be “targeted on campus” if she chose to proceed with the December 2012 case.

“When the attorney contacted Detective (Scott) Angulo immediately after Winston was identified, Detective Angulo told the 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,” the family said in their statement, according to the Times. “The family grew concerned that she would be targeted on campus.”

Winston, FSU’s sensational redshirt freshman signal caller who has rapidly emerged as the favorite to win the Heisman for the 10-0, No. 2-ranked Seminoles, has not been arrested or charged with any crime, nor has he ever been questioned or provided a statement to police in the matter.

The family’s attorney also contends that they were surprised to hear Winston’s lawyer, Tim Jansen, say last week that he was told the case was closed not long after the complaint to police was made. The family wanted a DNA sample collected from Winston and his roommate interviewed as a potential witness, but Angulo refused, according to the report.

“The family was shocked to hear that Winston’s attorney was not only aware of the case but had been told by Tallahassee Police Department that the case had been closed in February,” the family said, according to the Times. “All the while, the family was awaiting blood work results until early April.”

The family also questioned why Winston’s name was never mentioned in the police report even though he was identified by the alleged victim, according to the Times. The report was heavily redacted when released to the media last Wednesday.

The Times, which made the initial public records request almost two weeks ago, also claimed in its story that the family wanted to make it clear that it was not responsible for the leak of information about Winston, his alleged involvement or the re-opening of the case.

“It was never the intent of the victim or the family for this to become public,” the family said in its statement. “The victim was trying to move on with her life, which has now been turned upside down once again.”

Winston, 19, is the former No. 1 overall high school quarterback recruit in the nation.

He has passed for 2,938 yards and 28 touchdowns this season, leading FSU to the ACC’s Atlantic Division title and the Seminoles’ first unbeaten start since 1999 when they won their last national championship.

Florida State plays its regular-season home finale Saturday when it hosts Idaho (1-9) on Senior Day.

 

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