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Winston will not face rape charges, family of accuser thanks prosecutor

JansenState Attorney Willie Meggs closed the case against Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston on Thursday, saying that the flaws in the accuser's story made it virtually impossible to bring a conviction.

Meggs said the timing of the decision to not bring charges against the 19-year-old Heisman Trophy candidate had nothing to do with the Heisman voting, which ends Monday, or the ACC conference championship game to take place on Saturday.

He said he did not believe he had the evidence to show that a sexual assualt took place as the female Florida State University student alleged after the sexual encounter on Dec. 7, 2012. 

"We came to a decision that it was not a case we could bring forward because we would not have the burden of proof, the probable cause and the reasonable likelihood of a conviction,” Meggs said. "We did not feel we had sufficient evidence to prove that it was not consensual.” He said he will make public the documents relating to his closed investigation by midday on Friday. 

A written statement from the alleged victim released by police Thursday indicates that she told police that she was in a local college bar with her friend drinking shots and "next thing I know I'm in the back of a taxi with a random guy I have never met."

She said there was another person in the taxi and they went to an apartment. "I kept telling him to stop but he took all my clothes off,'' the . He started having sex with me and then his roommate came in and told him to stop. He moved us to the bathroom 'because the door locked' and I'm not 100 % sure how everything in there happened." 

Winston's attorney, Tim Jansen, has repeatedly said the the sex was consensual and affidavits from witnesses in Winston's room will confirm that.

"Her story just does not add up,'' he said at a press conference Thursday. "We're completely satisfied this is done. We can move forward.'' 

A trigger in Megg's decision appears to be the appearance of DNA evidence from a second male, whom the woman did not identify. Lab results released by police on Thursday indicate "presence of a mixture" of DNA from two men on the woman's pink shorts. 

Meggs said the evidence confirmed that Winston's DNA matched a sample found in the woman's underwear while the DNA from both Winston and the woman's boyfriend was found on the shorts.

An Aug. 27 lab report sent to the Tallahassee police indicates that the results show "a complete foreign DNA profile was obtained. This foreign DNA profile is consistent with originating from a different male individual (Male #2) than the partial DNA profile from the panties."

A friend of the accuser, Bria Henry, told the Herald/Times that the accuser's boyfriend is Jamal Roberts, a redshirt freshman with the Kent State Golden Flashes, who also attended Zephryhills High School with the accuser and Henry.

Henry said she responded to a Twitter message from her friend on the night of the incident after the accuser posted a Twitter message that read: 'Somebody help me.''

Henry said she called her friend on the phone and "she was boo-hoo crying,'' she recalled. "She said she was raped. I said, 'calm down." 

"She did say she didn't know him. She recalled his features -- he was buff and had a little 'fro,'' Henry said. 

Against the accuser's wishes, Henry helped to contact the girl's mother, who arrived later that morning.

Henry said her friend agreed to take the rape test because she was afraid of STDs but while "she did feel violated,'' she was not initially interested in pursuing charges.

"I think she was more convinced by her parents,'' she said. "She just wanted it to be over with. She didn't want it to esecalate."

Henry said she was not aware that Roberts had been in Tallahassee in December visiting her friend, but indicated they all had been home in Dade City over the Thanksgiving break two weeks prior.

"She did say she didn't know him. She recalled his features -- he was buff and had a little fro,'' Henry said. She said Roberts had been home in Dade City, along with the accuser, over the Thanksgiving break two weeks prior.

Meggs said the boyfriend did not cooperate with his office and they relied on a state attorney in Ohio to help them obtain the DNA from him.  

In a statement, Winston thanked Meggs "for examining all the facts."

"It's been difficult to stay silent thorugh this process, but I never lost faith in the truth and in who I am," he said, adding that he looks forward to "continuing my education at Florida State and I'm excited I can now get back ot helping our team achieve its goals."

The Tallahassee Police Department turned the case over to Meggs on Nov. 12 after several media inquiries. Although the accuser identified Winston as her alleged attacker in January, the police failed to obtain any DNA evidence until Meggs got involved.

Patricia Carroll, the attorney for the woman, whose name has not been released according to Florida's rape shield law, also thanked Meggs for "attempting to conduct a proper investigation after an inordinate delay by the Tallahassee Police Department." 

Carroll continued to place blame on the police department. She said her client "had the courage to immediately report her rape to the police and she relied upon them to seek justice.''

She warned, however, that "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."

Meggs emphasized that he did not need the accuser's cooperation to go forward with an assault charge  "if we have a case we're going to pursue it" -- but in this case there wasn't enough evidence for him to succeed.

Among the problems, he said, were memory lapses but she was not intoxicated and there was no evidence of drugs in her system. "Her recall of the events of that night have been moving around a good bit,'' he said. 

Jansen suggested that Winston's family is considering filing civil charges, possibly against the accuser and the media. 

The top-ranked and undefeated Seminoles are playing Duke on Saturday in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game. A win would likely put them in the college football championship game.

Photo: Winston's attorney Tim Jansen speaks to reporters outside the Tallahassee Courthouse after prosecutors announced they will not bring rape charges against his client. 

Comments

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Ship shape

Gold digger.

rt

Is this something that is a normal weekend activity at this apt.? She was having sex with several men but only one was charged?? The One that could generate the most publicity or money?

Is rape becoming any sex that a women decides that she did not enjoy, days later or months?

She was just drinking and got in the mood to have some fun then had second thoughts about all the activities that went on at her place with the boys??

Rape is a serious charge that sends the men to life in prison but nothing happens to the women that makes the false charges, at all.
Where is the Justice for the Men?? There is NONE!
Only Injustice for men. Women can make up lies and false charges and go free with impunity when those false charges do not stick.
All that investigation should have been done before charges filed on the innocent!
I feel sorry for all involved in this scheme.
Lets hopes these young people can move on with their lives, beyond this mess.

Delray Native

Congratulations Tallahassee, you are now the date rape capitol of Florida. That should make you proud.

Can't take anymore

I sure am glad that none of those Gator football players have sex with girls. I guess it would detract from their manly athletic abilities and keep them from winning all their football games and going to a bowl this year. I suppose pretty much the same can actually be said about the Miami Hurricanes football players. All good, chaste boys.

KP

Did anyone expect charges to be filed? Just look at the typical Florida St fan (rt), who attacks the victim by spreading complete falsehoods. Maybe rt's sister or mom being raped would be karma, but i won't wish that on anyone. Just wondering where "Anonymous" and the huge public outcry are? Two 16 yr old ARE charged in Steubenville, OH and the entire city is besieged, conspiracy theories abound, Facebook pages are started for jealous folks in the surrounding communities to spread hate, students and parents are threatened, etc, etc. This goes on for months, only to find out that there was no "date rape" or cover up or drugging. The "victim" drank all day and night, not only of her own free will, but she refused to go home when urged to before the horrific "finger rape." Wow, Anonymous and Florida are both a joke. I may never drink OJ with a mask on again, LoL!

Dr. H. H,

Typical and sad situatation where another black male makes a trophy of an attractive, white, blond female. All black males want one and unfortuantely this poor girl who must be an idiot, made it easy. And to top it all off she has a black boyfriend, what a joke!!!

Maria Felipe

Have you Even read the documents released by Meggs? What a joke. This girl was an active eager participant in what was going on. She made u the crazy story because she felt guilty afterward. Then her roommate and friend alerted her parents and cops and it was too late--she had to move forward with rape kit etc. She tried to say she didn't want to press charges later but again, too late. I feel sorry for legit rape victims, but willing, promiscuous girls are responsible for their own actions. Remember she had 2 men's DNA on her. Her boyfriend and her one night stand. She is hardly an innocent girl scout.

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