If you thought the Jameis Winston rape case is over, think again. An article published in the NY Times raises serious questions about how Florida State University and the local Tallahassee police delat with and investigated the Jameis Winston rape allegation.
According to the report, for nearly a year after the initial report of rape, the case was not investigated. According to the NY Times:
As she gave her account to the police, several bruises began to appear, indicating recent trauma. Tests would later find semen on her underwear…..
…an examination by The New York Times has found that there was virtually no investigation at all, either by the police or the university.
The police did not follow the obvious leads that would have quickly identified the suspect as well as witnesses, one of whom videotaped part of the sexual encounter. After the accuser identified Mr. Winston as her assailant, the police did not even attempt to interview him for nearly two weeks and never obtained his DNA.
Of course we all know that after the story broke, nearly a year later Winston was interviewed and the prosecutor announced that he did not have enough evidence to charge Winston with rape and proceed with an investigation. Winston went on to win the Heisman and FSU won the national championship.
But there were a number of blunders. First, there actually WAS evidence. The NYT report reveals that Winston’s roommate secretly videotaped the sexual encounter, then erased it, but police never questioned him.
The detective handling the case waited two months to write his first report and then prematurely suspended his inquiry without informing the accuser. By the time the prosecutor got the case, important evidence had disappeared, including the video of the sexual act.
The article reveals that not only did local police and investigators fail to properly investigate, it seems the University also failed to comply with rules regarding such matters. The university denies knowing about any taping of the sexual encounter.
University administrators, in apparent violation of federal law, did not promptly investigate either the rape accusation or the witness’s admission that he had videotaped part of the encounter.
Records show that Florida State’s athletic department knew about the rape accusation early on, in January 2013, when the assistant athletic director called the police to inquire about the case. Even so, the university did nothing about it, allowing Mr. Winston to play the full season without having to answer any questions. After the championship game, in January 2014, university officials asked Mr. Winston to discuss the case, but he declined on advice of his lawyer.
Winston would later admit he had sex with the woman–consensual sex and that no crime had been committed.
His account has been supported by two friends from the football team who were with him that night, Chris Casher, who took the video, and Ronald Darby.
However, another woman would be revealed as having a disturbing sexual encounter with Winston one month before the alleged rape. This first woman claimed that she had not been raped but was troubled. According to the university’s victim advocate the encounter:
“was of such a nature that she felt violated or felt that she needed to seek some type of counseling for her emotions about the experience,” according to Georgia Cappleman, the chief assistant state attorney, who said she had spoken with the advocate but not with the woman.
The victim advocate was concerned enough about the episode to have alerted Mr. Winston’s first accuser.
By then months had passed, and evidence and memories get cloudy. The report indicates that the police officer who investigated the case may have had a conflict of interest.
Patricia A. Carroll, a lawyer for Mr. Winston’s accuser, said the police investigator who handled the case, Scott Angulo, told her that because Tallahassee was a big football town, her client would be “raked over the coals” if she pursued the case.
Officer Angulo has done private security work for the Seminole Boosters, a nonprofit organization, with nearly $150 million in assets, that is the primary financier of Florida State athletics, according to records and a lawyer for the boosters. It also paid roughly a quarter of the $602,000 salary of the university president, Eric Barron, who was recently named president of Penn State.
The Tallahassee police declined to make Officer Angulo available for an interview, but his report states that he suspended the investigation because the accuser was uncooperative, which she denies.
Wow! This report by the NY Times is deeply disturbing. Not only does Florida State have some explaining to do, but the local police do as well. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights is now investigating how FSU handled the case and if they followed Title IX procedures.
This report by the New York Times only further deepens the public’s animosity toward athletes and their preferential treatment. You wonder how professional athletes get so egotistical and so careless with their behavior with others and it would seem to start at the college level. Waiting one year to investigate a rape charge is beyond egregious. Add to that not looking into all the evidence or performing the due diligence due any case is a true failure of the justice system.
Protecting the name of a player for the sake of a championship is a sad commentary on the nature of college sports. While the facts of this case remained blurred and no one can say with certainty that Winston committed a crime, the way this case was handled leaves a shadow and, perhaps suspicion that may never be forgotten.
What do you think?
Your Jersey Girlfriend,