May 22, 2018
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Florida State investigating rape allegations made against QB Winston

Brandon Wade | MCT
Brandon Wade | MCT
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston
By The Sports Xchange, Special to the BDN

Florida State officials have started a disciplinary inquiry involving charges that allege Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston raped a fellow student in 2012.

In early August, FSU officials went to where the woman lives to interview her, an attorney for the woman told USA TODAY. The interview was the first time school officials had talked to the woman since she alleged that she had been assaulted in December 2012.

John Clune, a Title IX attorney representing the woman said, “The interview went pretty well. I think it was a positive experience, and everyone felt like the university was taking it very seriously.”

Clune said FSU officials left with more information than they previously had received from Tallahassee police, and that two other people had been interviewed.

The school’s investigation stems from a December 2012 incident that started at a Tallahassee bar and ended with the woman saying she had been sexually assaulted. The New York Times reported in April that the woman contacted the Tallahassee Police Department immediately, but there was nary an investigation at that time.

The prosecutor’s office was only contacted after local media was tipped to the charges.

In December, a local prosecutor said his office did not have enough evidence to charge Winston. At that time, FSU officials wanted to interview Winston, but he declined to answer questions. He went on to win the Heisman Trophy and lead the Seminoles to the national championship.

The woman withdrew from Florida State last year and attends another university.

A Florida State spokeswoman cited federal privacy laws and said the school will not discuss the case.

It is unsure if Winston was interviewed. His attorney, Tim Jansen, did not return messages.

Schools must investigate and adjudicate cases of sexual harassment and violence regardless of a criminal investigation under Title IX.


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