FSU Quarterback Jameis Winston Not Charged With Sexual Assault, Twitter Responds
Nearly one year after a 19-year-old Florida State University student accused FSU Quarterback Jameis Winston of sexual battery, Florida State Attorney Willie Meggs announced Thursday that Winston will not be charged due to a lack of evidence. While Winston's DNA was indeed linked to the accuser, Tallahassee police found the presence of another man's DNA on her body. Winston's attorney, Tim Jansen, also claimed that the sexual encounter between Winston and the woman was consensual.
The investigation came in the middle of a season when Winston was a contender for the Heisman trophy, which is awarded to outstanding college football players. However, Meggs made it clear at the press conference that the announcement and its timing had nothing to do with "Heisman demands or [the] football schedule."
It's fair enough to say that evidence on the case was inconclusive. But the timeline and the manner of the investigation is perhaps the most concerning thing here, as the alleged victim's attorney, Patricia Carroll, has stated on many occasions. Carroll says a Tallahassee detective even warned her not to take the case because Tallahassee was a "big football town" and the 19-year-old woman would be "raked over the coals."
Besides this alleged incident, possibly the most alarming thing about this case is just how long it took for the investigation to even begin.
The FSU student filed accusations against Winston on Dec. 7, 2012. And when did the case make it to the State Attorney's desk? This paragraph from USA Today puts things into perspective:
The case did not reach the desk of the State Attorney William Meggs until nearly 11 months after the alleged incident, and only then after media outlets made public records requests to view the case file from the Tallahassee police.
Jamil Smith's recent Tweet speaks volumes:
But while critics may look at this incident and see the inefficiency of Tallahassee police, others are simply angry that Winston isn't being charged.
Others were not being sarcastic:
Because, hooray! Now he can go back to playing football or competing for the Heisman.
Even the NBC Sports Radio Twitter sent out a cheery tweet — before deleting it.
And then apologizing.
It seems that when rape allegations and sports collide, the odds are clear: if it's a battle between getting to the bottom of the allegations or sweeping them under the rug, we can almost always expect sports to win.